- Emerging facts have revealed that Africa has accumulated losses worth $15.5 billion between 2007 and 2016
- These facts were reeled out by Ambassador Tukur Yusufu Buratai, Nigeria's ex-high commissioner to the Republic of Benin
- He stated this at the 17th Africa Security Watch Awards and Conference in Gambia while delivering a lecture on counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency
Former Nigeria's high commissioner to the Republic of Benin, Ambassador Tukur Yusufu Buratai, has reeled out some of the shortcomings of terrorism and the futilities of terrorism.
Speaking at the 17th Africa Security Watch Awards and Conference in Gambia, Buratai said that the African continent had suffered a huge loss monetarily in combating terrorism.
Buratai, who delivered a lecture titled COUNTER-INSURGENCY AND COUNTER TERRORISM: CAUSES, CHALLENGES, LESSONS, AND DETERRENCE, said Africa's loss has accumulated in billions of dollars while revealing that the cost of managing and combatting terrorism in the African continent has increased in from $1.54 billion in 2007 to $15.5 billion in 2016.
He attributed this loss to the impact of the increasing conflict in affiliated Islamic states in the African continent.
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"Terrorists cost Africa billions of dollars annually. This amount will only increase now that the newest African affiliate of the Islamic State has derailed the continent's greatest private investment.
"In April, the French oil giant Total declared force majeure on a $20 billion liquefied natural gas project in northern Mozambique due to a growing conflict linked to the Islamic State.
"The cost of terrorism in Africa increased from $1.54 billion in 2007 to $15.5 billion in 2016 because of Total's exit."
Buratai speaks on major challenges in combatting terrorism
The former Nigerian army chief revealed that the issue of abduction and requests for ransom by terrorists and rebel groups in the African continent had become a major problem in the fight against terrorism.
Buratai said these challenges are now predominant in the Sahel and Sub-Saharan Africa.
"These insurgents and terrorists see hostage-taking as a means to extract money from the government, local and international organizations, and even ordinary citizens struggling to survive.
"It is an irony that the insurgents and terrorists now compel locals to fund their criminal activity through ransom payment."
He further revealed that funding counterinsurgency and counterterrorism is a big challenge in Africa.
The ambassador said funding such a huge monetary project requires huge investment, and Africa does not possess such capacity as the western nations.
He said Africa could not afford another wave of intractable war that would distort development and growth in the continent.
"Already the Russians are in many countries of Africa (Libya, Sudan, Mozambique, Madagascar, Central African Republic, and Mali) focusing principally on protecting the ruling or emerging governing elites and critical infrastructures, and I can tell you that they are not there for charity; they get paid in money and in most cases concessions to minerals and military bases."
Buratai shares a message of hope in fighting terrorism
The former army chief, however, stated that there is hope in the fight against terrorism in Africa. He said the challenges attached to terrorism in Africa could be clamped down if necessary proactive measures are taken.
"The African story, regardless of what is happening in some parts of the Sahel and Sub-Saharan Africa is not a story of failure and hopelessness, and our challenges are surmountable if we can buckle up, look inwards, take responsibility for our actions and condition, and work together to salvage the continent."
President Buhari confers CFR national honour on ambassador Buratai
In another development, Legit.ng had earlier reported that the full list for the year 2022 national honours had been released with over 400 personalities as recipients.
Former Army chief and former Nigeria's ambassador to the Republic of Benin T.Y Buratai was among this year's recipients.
President Muhammadu Buhari conferred Buratai with the national award of Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR).