While meeting foreign envoys in Yaounde in January, Cameroon’s President Paul Biya urged the international community to help his country fight against Nigeria-based Islamist group Boko Haram, arguing “a global threat needs a global response.”
Boko Haram started its campaign of violence in 2009, trying to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria.
It has killed some 13,000 people and kidnapped hundreds, with neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon affected.
To these countries, Boko Haram remains a threat that has exacerbated poverty and made resources even more insufficient to satisfy the needs of their populations.
In southern Somalia, Islamist group Al-Shabaab still controls some rural areas, imposing security threats to the country seeking to rebound from decades of civil conflicts and neighbouring Kenya.
Despite relatively large budgetary allocations for the defense sector and ongoing operations against the militants, these countries do not have adequate equipment and well-trained soldiers to tackle the security challenge.
Last Friday, gunmen attacked a hotel in Mali’s capital Bamako, killing at least 21 people. Islamist group al-Murabitoun claimed responsibility.
These African countries facing terror threats need support from the international community, including technological aid and intelligence sharing with the major powers, a source from the Cameroonian intelligence agency told Xinhua.
The West has been accused of being responsible for the expansion of terrorism in the world, emerging from the Middle East particularly, through sale of weapons to groups previously considered as “rebels”. And now they are responsible for picking up the pieces.
Different from the West, China has been supporting African countries’ development under its policy of non-interference in the internal affairs — seen by them as a key partner.
Besides aid in improving their infrastructure and close economic ties, China has recently made pledges concerning Africa’s peacekeeping efforts.
At a UN summit in September, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced would provide military aid worth 100 million U.S. dollars to the African Union (AU) for the setting up of the African Standby Force, Africa’s peacekeeping troops.
He also said China would contribute 8,000 troops for a UN peacekeeping standby force.
China’s support is expected to help Africa in its fight against terrorism, including the militant groups that are causing havoc in parts of the continent.