By Victor Iluyemi
Nigerian chapter of the Nigeria-Cameroon Trans-Border Security Committee, Thursday in Abuja announced that it has identified many porous routes used by criminals to engage in the trans-border crime between the two countries.
About 180 insurgents were reportedly killed by the Cameroonian security at the border on Tuesday.
The committee which submitted its report to the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Nurudeen Mohammed identified maritime axis, mountains, roads, rivers, waterways and streams as safe havens and routes for criminal activities.
Chairman of the Committee, Major General Babatunde Samuel (Rtd), said, ‚ÄúOn the issue of porous common borders between Nigeria and Cameroon, which stretches about 2000km from Lake Chad to the Atlantic Ocean, the committee noted the predominant threat to our security which includes kidnapping, piracy, illegal oil bunkering, pipeline vandalisation, smuggling as well as environmental degradation.
‚ÄúOther notable threats with negative economic consequences include terrorism, hostage taking, illegal fishing, human and drug trafficking and proliferation of small arms and light weapons. The committee identified the maritime axis, mountains, roads and rivers, waterways and streams that are routes for criminal activities.‚Äù
He also revealed that the Nigerian security agencies had proposed the joint-patrol collaboration with Cameroon to drastically reduce the menace of criminals and insurgents along the common porous borders.
He said that ‚Äúthe detail of the expected joint-patrol cooperation with Cameroon can be found in the main report, including persuading Cameroon to join the multi-national joint task force under the auspices of the Lake Chad Basin Commission.‚Äù
Samuel further stressed the need to enhanced the standard of living of residents of the border communities by providing them with certain economic facilities and infrastructural establishments such as schools, hospitals, potable water, farming and fishing equipment, trans-border markets, etc, would go a long way in bringing the governments of both countries closer to the border communities and help them to cooperate with the security forces to promote peaceful co-existence and development in the areas.
In his remark, the minister, who was represented by the Under Secretary, Economic and Consular of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Asalina Mamuno, said the successful implementation of the Nigeria-Cameroon Trans-Border Agreement will not only enhance the bilateral relations of the two countries but will also be effective in putting a stop to the nefarious crimes committed along the porous borders.
He assured that a memo would be forwarded to President Goodluck Jonathan to seek his approval for the members of the committee to proceed to Cameroon to engage their counterparts on how best to implement the agreement for the mutual benefit of both countries.