The Inspector-General, Senegalese Armed Forces, Maj.-Gen. Elhadji Niang, has solicited collaboration with the Armed Forces of Nigeria in dealing with the menace of insurgency in sub-Saharan Africa.
Niang made the call when he paid a courtesy call on Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that his visit to Nigeria was to assess the operational readiness of Nigerian troops which include the army, navy and air force as well as the Police.
He expressed the commitment of the Senegalese military to work closely with the Nigerian military with a view to tackling the challenges of insurgency and terrorism in the West African sub-region.
“We believe that working more closely with Nigeria will make us more efficient due to the experience and expertise of the Nigerian military in various realms.
“We hope that from this visit we will find ways to be more cooperative and more efficient in order to solve our various issues,” he said.
Responding, the CDS, Irabor, acknowledged that Nigeria and Senegal had maintained a cordial relationship both at the political level and in military engagements.
Irabor said that the two countries had been having extensive interaction in terms of operation and training, adding that their experiences could be leveraged for greater effectiveness of the two nation’s armed forces.
According to him, the visit of the Senegalese military chief would enable the two armed forces to strengthen that bond of friendship that they have had.
“The West African sub-region as you know is currently faced with some kinds of security challenges.
“Senegal may not be directly affected but its neighbours like Mali and other countries around it are faced with challenges that need attention.
“For us in Nigeria, we are also facing the problem of insurgency and terrorism which we believe requires a collective effort.
“So, if the movement of these criminal elements, especially from the Sahel down this part of West Africa with the intervention of Senegalese military assisting the Malians and the Burkinabe in one way or the other will help to reduce the Sahelian movement of these criminal elements.
“I think that our collaboration will help to significantly improve the state of security in the sub-region,” he said. (NAN)