The United Kingdom has announced new funds to combat terror in the Lake Chad Basin following the growth of terrorism on the African continent.
Specifically in the new funding plan, the United Kingdom will support efforts to combat terror in the Lake Chad Basin region, including £12.6 million this financial year to support Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger, all affected by the receding lake and subsequently by act of terrorism by Boko Haram/ISWA.
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab decried the growing threat of Daesh-linked groups in Africa, including so-called Islamic State West Africa.
At a meeting at a meeting of the Global Coalition against Daesh in Rome on Monday, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “Two years since Daesh’s territorial defeat in Iraq and Syria, the threat of Daesh and its hateful ideology has not gone away. Worryingly it continues to grow in Africa which is why we must work with our Coalition partners to fight its poisonous propaganda on all fronts.
“We stand shoulder to shoulder with our African partners to tackle the growing threat from Daesh-linked groups across Africa, particularly in the Lake Chad Basin.”
The Foreign Secretary, according to a statement signed by the Policy and Communications Manager, British High Commission in Nigeria, Elva Lynch-Bathgate, on Monday announced new UK funding to fight the growing threat of terrorism in West Africa.
At a meeting of the Global Coalition against Daesh in Rome, Dominic Raab committed £12.6m this financial year to support efforts to counter the group in the Lake Chad Basin, which covers North East Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, and Chad.
According to the statement, the funds will be used to support regional forces to counter the Daesh threat, encourage fighters to leave the group, and support the stabilisation of areas for local communities, improving community security and restoring essential infrastructure and basic services, through support to the regional stabilisation facility.
According to the statement, foreign ministers from more than 45 countries met on Monday to discuss deepening cooperation to combat Daesh and its affiliate terrorist groups, including emerging threats across the African continent.
The statement said UK is funding a new Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) programme for the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, where Daesh’s affiliate, known as Islamic State West Africa (ISWA), is responsible for significant violence, noting that this new regional fund replaces the previous North East Nigeria CSSF fund.
The statement further revealed that will support regional military efforts to counter Daesh and other groups, as well as efforts to safely demobilise suspected low-level members of terrorist groups.
“The UK Government continues to work with Nigeria to respond to the drivers of the conflict, through a comprehensive package of security support and supporting a civilian-led process for stabilisation. The UK is also providing humanitarian assistance to respond to the lifesaving needs of people affected by the conflict,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing has said: “The UK remains absolutely committed to the lasting defeat of Daesh and affiliates such as Islamic State West Africa.”
She said: “I welcome this announcement of new funding which will enable us to continue to support the efforts of our Nigerian and other regional partners. Together we will tackle this pressing threat and address the longer-term drivers of conflict.”
The statement recalled that Daesh recently released a new speech by its spokesman, the first since October 2020. The spokesman congratulated affiliates for their attacks, including in West Africa.
Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) in Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin regularly issues propaganda boasting horrific violence against both civilian and military targets.
It is expected that with the funding announced on Monday such propaganda will be countered..
Michael Olugbode in Abuja