Jonathan urges world leaders to unmask terrorists’ sponsors
President Goodluck Jonathan has said world leaders have the responsibility of unmasking those sponsoring terror groups.
He said this in Brussels, the Belgian capital, yesterday at the commencement of the fourth European Union-Africa Summit.
The summit brought heads of state and government of the EU and Africa together.
Jonathan wondered where terrorists got their sophisticated weapons from, saying no effort should be spared in holding their sponsors responsible for their actions.
He said those sponsoring terrorists were determined to destabilise Africa, saying that a terror attack on one country was an attack on everyone.
“The weapons of choice of these terror groups are the Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW). Of recent, they’ve acquired the rapid propelled grenades and even surface-to-air missiles. Where do they get these sophisticated weapons? The total value of what these terrorists possess as individuals, in terms of what they wear and where they live cannot buy an assault rifle,” he said.
“We all have the collective responsibility to unearth their sponsors and supporters who are determined to destabilise Africa. We should hold them responsible and accountable for their actions,” the president said.
According to the president, the issue of peace and security needs a holistic and integrated approach because peace and development are two sides of a coin.
He recalled that the recent security summit held to mark Nigeria’s centenary celebrations had resolved that all nations strengthen existing mechanisms for national and international conflict management and create new avenues for co-operation among peoples and nations.
He added that since year 2000, the African Union had shown sustained desire for the development of collective security arrangement among member states and regional economic communities.
He noted that member states had established a security management system and the codification of standards within Africa’s peace and security architecture which, he said, included the Peace and Security Council, a continental early warning system and the Panel of the Wise and the African Standby Force.
“Notwithstanding these initiatives, new and emerging threats that necessitate concerted and holistic focus have emerged. These include political conflicts that threaten hard-won peace and democracies, and worse still, the phenomenon of piracy and terrorism.
“In the face of these new threats and challenges, the peace and security architecture needs to be strengthened and the African Standby Force needs to be fully operationalised”, he said.
Jonathan urged renewed efforts towards addressing the current challenges and warned that the target of ridding the continent of conflicts might fail if the nexus between peace and development was not fully explored and developed.
PHOTO STATE HOUSE From left: Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador Aminu Wali; President Goodluck Jonathan; Trade and Investment Minister, Olusegun Aganga; and other government officials at a meeting with Bulgarian President, Rosen Assenov Plevneliev (right), during a bilateral meeting on the opening ceremony of EU-Africa Summit in Brussels, Belgium yesterday.