EU commissioner to Buhari: Military effort alone can’t end insurgency

The European Union (EU) Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic has visited President Muhammadu Buhari with a pledge to continually assist Nigeria in addressing the humanitarian challenges in the North East which is facing Boko Haram insurgency.

The EC commissioner was accompanied on the visit on Friday by Head EU Delegation Ketil Karslen, ECHO Dep. Dir. General Michael Hoehler, Member of Cabinet (Africa) Roland Sourd and Echo Head of Unit Guseppe Angelini.

“We would like to support your efforts. We believe all relevant actors; military, civilian as well as humanitarian should come together. The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs is suggesting such high level dialogue,” the EU commissioner said.

“In situations such as what we have in the northeast, international law and international humanitarian law should apply. We believe in your efforts to end the conflict; military effort alone probably will not be sufficient without identifying and addressing the socio-economic factors causing it,” he added.

President Muhammadu Buhari told the EU delegation that though it might take a bit longer, the nation will surely put the issues associated with the troubles in the Northeast in order and move ahead, according to a statement by presidential spokesman Femi Adesina.

“I assure you of Nigeria’s commitment to enhance and deepen cooperation with the EU in all areas. Our priorities in the next level is to ensure that Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, are rehabilitated so that livelihood should be established and the children should not lose the opportunity to go back to school, which is very important for the future of that area and Nigeria generally.

“We have the experience of the civil war. I could recall the role of the military, the army, each commander had in his pocket how to behave himself and how to allow international bodies like yourself to go round and see for themselves that people are treated in the most humane way. We have this experience and I assure you that we also have this confidence in your organisation. That is why I feel that Nigeria is capable of handling this crisis, it may take long but we are capable of handling it.”

Buhari added that the newly created Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, will do a splendid job of managing the various humanitarian issues evolving from the Northeast.

“The ministry will be accountable to the government instead of having too many bodies doing the same thing. We are also reaching out to foreign countries explaining to them our position, and we are confident we will get over it.”

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