“We Do Not Need Foreign Troops To Crush Boko Haram,” Says Min. of Foreign Affairs

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, on Monday said Nigeria does not need deployment of foreign troops to crush the activities of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram in the country.

Ashiru insisted that Nigeria has not lost control of the security situation in the north.

Speaking in Abuja at the opening of a two –day Regional Policy Seminar on Responsibility to Protect, organized by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the minister maintained that the Nigerian situation has not fallen short of the principles of the United Nations Responsibility to Protect.

According to him, the principle provides for international intervention with coercive measures if a state fails to protect its citizens from mass atrocities.

Rather than deploy international forces, he called for increased technical assistance, exchange of information and intelligence, capacity building and training of the security forces and raising security consciousness of the populace in Nigeria.

The Responsibility to Protect Articles 138 and 139, according to him, provided that it is the primary responsibility of a state to protect its populations from mass atrocities; and it is the responsibility of the international community to assist states fulfill the responsibility through the instrument of the UN.

The Minister explained that none of the conditions envisaged by the principles of the Responsibility to Protect exists in Nigeria despite the current security challenges.

He said: “I am aware of some suggestions that the situation in Nigeria with isolated internecine conflicts and current security challenge posed by Boko Haram might qualify for the application of the principle of Responsibility to Protect.

“Our response to this is simple, surely the situation does not call for the invocation of the principle of Responsibility to Protect since Nigeria has not lost control on the first pillar, being the responsibility of state to protect its citizens.

“While current situation and the wanton loss of lives are deeply regrettable, the situation is not of the scale envisaged by the World Summit on Responsibility to Protect. Even on the second pillar, Nigeria has sought and is receiving the assistance of the international community, both at bilateral and multilateral levels, including the United Nations,” he added.

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