A huge sum of $250 million (229 million euros) have been pledged by participants at the AU summit for the fight against Boko Haram insurgents, Chief of AU Peace and Security Council, Smail Chergui disclosed on Monday.
Boko Haram, despite facing the heat of a military onslaught in Nigeria, has in the past year stepped up cross-border attacks in Niger, Chad and Cameroon, while continuing shooting and suicide assaults on markets, mosques and other mostly civilian targets within Nigeria itself, still maintaining strongholds in areas that are difficult to access.
Chergui praised the success of the Nigerian force at tackling the insurgents but expressed the need to consolidate their gains, saying, “Great results have been achieved and we must consolidate these gains.”
According to him, $110 million came from Nigeria, with the European Union offering 50 million euros, as well as donations from Britain and Switzerland.
The African Union chairman, Idriss Deby (President of Chad) said the money pledged was actually to show their firm commitment in the fight against terrorism.
Nigerian Foreign Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama also said that gains had been made but much more needed to be done.
“Boko Haram is no longer able to operate freely as in the past or control territories as they did. We are making tremendous progress in this battle, but we still need to remain vigilant, we need to share information and cooperate,” he said
Boko Haram insurgency began in Nigeria in 2009, and ever since, over 20,000 people have been reportedly killed and about 2.5 million rendered homeless. Nigeria military and the federal government had announced to the nation one month ago that the insurgents been defeated and driven into fall back position.
But with the recent bombing of Gombi market and invasion of Dalori village that have left dozens killed, many are worried that the insurgents seem to have made a heavy come back.