Britain is working on cooperation with Nigeria in order to combat the increasing terrorism by Boko Haram, and the political and security partnership aims to prevent terrorism and organized crime in the West African region.
On Thursday, February 3, the British government confirmed that the security and defense partnership dialogue between Britain and Nigeria that took place this week witnessed new commitments that will enhance work to address common threats and preserve the safety of the British and Nigerian peoples.
According to a statement published by the British government on its website, the dialogue included commitments to joint action to improve standards of policing, protection of human rights, and recognition of the important role of women in achieving sustainable peace.
The statement pointed out that more British support for Nigeria in the face of ISIS and Boko Haram will also depend on the joint work between the two countries to respond to the conflict with extremist groups in northeastern Nigeria.
These agreements came during the dialogue that took place between UK African Affairs Minister Vicky Ford and Nigerian National Security Advisor Major General Babagana Monguno in London this week.
“Conflict and insecurity are causing loss of life and increasing displacement of millions of people across West Africa. It also affects the freedom of civilians, hinders economic growth, and further undermines peace and prosperity,” Ford said.
She added that through these new agreements, Britain is strengthening its partnership with Nigeria to confront common threats, enhance regional stability efforts and support peacekeeping capabilities in Nigeria.
Ford noted that this will help Nigeria counter violent extremist organizations and organized crime groups and enable it to respond to the growing regional security challenges.
Monguno said Nigeria and Britain share deep bonds and a common history dating back more than a century.
“Like many other countries facing complex security threats, Nigeria recognizes the need to form greater alliances and partnerships with friendly countries in order to combat these threats. It is especially essential that we work together to combat the threats of contemporary terrorism,” he added.
Monguno considered that the discussions and agreements reached between the two countries represent an opportunity for officials at the highest levels in both governments to work together to confront threats from terrorism, sectarian conflict, organized crime, piracy, border security, and drug and human trafficking.
He pointed out that these agreements will deepen and enhance security and defense cooperation between the two countries to create a safe environment for their citizens.
In 2014, against the backdrop of the kidnapping of more than two hundred schoolgirls from northeastern Nigeria by Boko Haram, Britain offered, through then-Foreign Secretary William Hague, to help Nigeria liberate the schoolgirls.
“We are offering practical help,” Hague told reporters upon arrival at the Council of Europe meeting in Vienna to discuss ways to defuse the Ukraine crisis.
He added that Boko Haram using girls as spoils of war and terrorism is disgusting and immoral, making it clear that he did not want to discuss the details of the assistance offered by Britain.
Britain succeeded in acquiring the largest part of the African regions after the control of Western colonialism at the beginning of the twentieth century so that none of the regions was devoid of British presence after the Second World War, because the colonial countries reduced their presence and emptied their internal affairs.
In January 2018, the British parliament agreed to strengthen the military presence in Niger in order to squash the nests of terrorist organizations active in that region, in addition to international coordination to stop the waves of African migrants to Europe. The British Air Force participated in the French military Operation Barkhane, which it launched against the Ansar Dine group in Mali and Burkina Faso.
Former British Prime Minister Theresa May previously pledged about £145 million in family planning assistance to the Sahel and northern Nigeria, in addition to the establishment of the Conflict and Security Fund, in which the government’s investment doubled to reach $8.7 million in 2018. The fund has addressed the root causes of instability and rampant poverty, which indirectly contribute to the spread of extremism and terrorism, and London has doubled its diplomatic presence in its embassies in Niger and Mali in the past 18 months, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).