37 Killed In Burkina Faso’s Deadliest Attack In Five Years

FILES) In this file photo taken on March 02, 2019 Burkinabe soldiers take part in a ceremony in Ouagadougou. Burkina Faso’s security forces are overwhelmed by the flare-up of attacks carried out almost every day by jihadist groups. ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP

 

An ambush on a convoy transporting employees of a Canadian mining company in Burkina Faso killed 37 people on Wednesday, the deadliest attack in nearly five years of jihadist violence in the West African country.

The impoverished and politically fragile Sahel country has been struggling to quell a rising jihadist revolt that has claimed hundreds of lives since early 2015.

On Wednesday morning “unidentified armed individuals” ambushed five buses carrying local employees, contractors and suppliers of the Samafo mining company, said Saidou Sanou, the governor of the country’s Est Region.

As well as the 37 civilians killed, 60 were wounded, he said.

Mine owner Semafo Inc. said the five buses escorted by the military were approximately 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the Boungou gold mine in the Tapoa province when they were ambushed.

A security source said “a military vehicle that was escorting the convoy hit an explosive device”.

“Two buses carrying workers were then fired upon,” the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Burkina Faso’s government said the gunmen had conducted a “complex attack”, adding that defence and security forces had launched a relief operation and were searching the area.

READ ALSO: Two Killed As Clashes Erupt At Guinea Funeral March

It was the third deadly attack on Canadian firm Semafo, which operates two mines in Burkina Faso, in 15 months.

“We are actively working with all levels of authorities to ensure the ongoing safety and security of our employees, contractors and suppliers,” Semafo said in a statement, offering condolences to the families of the victims.

The mine itself, it added, remains secure and its operations had not been affected.

Two separate attacks on convoys carrying Boungou mine employees in August and December last year killed 11 people.

The company blamed “armed bandits” for last year’s attacks, and subsequently reinforced its armed escorts.

The Burkina Faso government this year asked mining companies to make their own arrangements to transport their employees, according to sources close to the miners.

Nearly 700 dead in five years

Burkina Faso’s northern provinces have been battling a nearly five-year wave of jihadist violence that came from neighbouring Mali.

The attacks — typically hit-and-run raids on villages, road mines and suicide bombings — have claimed nearly 700 lives across the country since early 2015, according to an AFP toll.

Almost 500,000 people have also been forced to flee their homes.

The attacks have been claimed by a range of jihadist groups, including al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

The country’s badly equipped, poorly trained and underfunded security forces have been unable to stem the violence, which has intensified throughout 2019 to become almost daily.

The Sahel region, including Burkina Faso’s neighbours Mali and Niger, has been afflicted by the violence despite the presence of the regional G5 Sahel force as well as French and US troops.

Burkina Faso’s previous deadliest attack was in January 2016, when jihadists raided the Splendid Hotel and a cafe in the capital Ouagadougou, killing 30 people, around half of them foreign nationals.

In August this year, the army suffered its worst attack with 24 soldiers killed in an assault on a base in Koutougou, near the Mali border.

On Monday, an attack on a base in northern Burkina Faso killed at least five gendarmes and five civilians.

Macron Vows To Fight Terrorism After Police Killings

 

French President Emmanuel Macron Tuesday vowed an “unrelenting fight” against Islamist extremists at a memorial ceremony for four Paris police staff stabbed to death last week by a colleague who had converted to a radical version of Islam.

Mickael Harpon, a 45-year-old computer expert in the police intelligence-gathering department, used a kitchen knife and an oyster shucker to kill one female and three male colleagues in a 30-minute rampage that ended when an officer shot him dead.

“We will wage an unrelenting fight in the face of Islamist terrorism,” Macron said at the ceremony at police headquarters, where the attack took place.

The killings in the police’s inner sanctum have shocked France, where the government is being pressed to explain how Harpon’s radicalisation had failed to raise red flags.

Macron said it was “inconceivable and unacceptable” that Harpon, who had worked for the police since 2003, had managed to carry out an attack “in the very place where we pursue terrorists and criminals”.

He blamed the attack on “a distorted, deadly Islam” which he vowed to “eradicate” and to build in France a “society in a state of vigilance”.

He called on all of France to unify and act in order to overcome what he termed the “Islamist hydra”, referring to a multi-headed serpent of Greek mythology.

But he also warned against lapsing into a climate of permanent suspicion, emphasising: “This is not a fight against a religion but against the distortion of it which leads to terrorism.”

Thursday’s bloodshed — the first deadly attack in France in 10 months — brought to 255 the number of people killed in a string of assaults blamed on, or claimed by Islamist radicals, mainly the Islamic State group, since 2015.

The security forces have regularly been targeted.

In one of the grisliest attacks, a police couple were stabbed to death in front of their three-year-old son at their home near Paris by a man claiming allegiance to IS, who broadcast the attack live on Facebook.

 Propaganda videos 

Harpon, a father of two, had converted to Islam about 10 years ago and adopted increasingly radical beliefs.

He had been in close contact with a hardline Salafist imam in the months before his rampage last week, according to investigators.

His wife was released from custody on Sunday after three days of questioning.

Le Parisien newspaper reported Tuesday that a USB key containing details on dozens of his police colleagues had been found among his possessions.

The paper, citing sources close to the inquiry, said it was not clear if Harpon had gathered the data as part of his job or had surreptitiously extracted it, nor whether he had shared it with others.

The key also contained several IS propaganda videos, it added.

Police told BFM TV that 160 investigators have been dedicated to combing through data captured on Harpon’s computers.

The four victims of the attack — Damien Ernest, Anthony Lancelot, Aurelia Trifiro and Brice Le Mescam — were on Tuesday posthumously awarded the Legion of Honour, France’s highest military and civilian award.

Ernest, a father of two with 28 years of service, had been planning to get married to his long-time partner, Macron said.

The coffins of the four, which were draped in French flags, were borne into the courtyard of the building by fellow officers.

 Interior minister under fire 

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner has faced opposition calls for his resignation after initially claiming that Harpon never gave the “slightest reason for alarm” before going on the rampage.

On Tuesday, the minister appeared before a parliamentary committee, where he conceded there had been a “malfunction” in not reporting signals of Harpon’s seeming radicalisation.

He will also be questioned by a Senate panel on Thursday as to why Harpon, who told colleagues that the 12 people killed in the 2015 massacre at the Charlie Hebdo satirical newspaper “deserved it”, did not set off alarm bells.

Parliament speaker Richard Ferrand on Tuesday announced a commission of inquiry into the attack.

And the interior ministry has set up a dedicated cell to track potential Islamist radicals within the ranks of the security forces.

Le Parisien reported Tuesday that 19 interior ministry employees were under surveillance.

AFP

Norway Mosque Shooting Being Probed As ‘Act Of Terror’ – Police

Police vehicles near the al-Noor Islamic centre mosque where a gunman, armed with multiple weapons, went on a shooting spree in the town of Baerum, an Oslo suburb on August 10, 2019. 
Terje Pedersen / NTB Scanpix / AFP

 

The shooting at a mosque near Oslo is being treated as an “attempted act of terror”, Norwegian police said on Sunday, with the suspect appearing to harbour far-right, anti-immigrant views.

“We are looking at an attempted act of terror,” acting chief of the police operation Rune Skjold told a press conference after Saturday’s incident left one man injured.

Skjold said the investigation had shown that the man appeared to hold “far-right” and “anti-immigrant” views.

The suspect, armed with multiple weapons, opened fire in the mosque in Baerum, a suburb of Oslo, on Saturday afternoon, before being overpowered by a man who suffered “minor injuries” in the process.

Norway was the scene of one of the worst-ever attacks by a right-wing extremist in July 2011, when 77 people were killed by Anders Behring Breivik.

Hours after the attack on Saturday, the body of a young woman related to the suspect was found in a home also in Baerum.

Investigators are treating her death as suspicious and have opened a murder probe.

Police said earlier on Sunday they had tried to question the suspect, described as a “young man” with a “Norwegian background” who was living in the vicinity but he did not want to “give an explanation to police”.

The man had been known to police before the incident but according to Skjold he could not be described as someone with a “criminal background”.

READ ALSO: One Hurt In Norway Mosque Shooting, Suspect Arrested

On Saturday, Norwegian media reported that the suspect was believed to have put up a post to an online forum hours before the attack where he seemingly praised the assailant in the attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in March when 51 people were killed.

The suspect in the Christchurch killings wrote a hate-filled manifesto in which he said he was influenced by far-right ideologues including Breivik.

Breivik detonated a massive bomb in Oslo that killed eight people and then opened fire on a gathering of the Labour Party’s youth wing on the island of Utoya, killing another 69 people, most of them teenagers.

Local Norwegian paper Budstikka said it had contacted the mosque in Baerum in March after the Christchurch massacre and that officials there had said security would be tightened.

AFP

No Part Of Nigeria Will Be Occupied By Criminal Elements, Buratai Vows

SERAP, EiE, BudgIT Ask Buratai To Account For Money Spent Fighting Boko Haram, Others
Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai

 

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, has vowed not to allow criminal elements occupy any part of Nigeria.

Buratai, who was speaking at the 61st passing out parade of the Nigerian Military School, Zaria in Kaduna State, reiterated his commitment to combat all security challenges confronting the nation.

Represented by the Chief of Policy and Planning, Lieutenant General Lamidi Adeosun, Buratai said that the army in collaboration with other security agencies, is doing everything possible to tame the resurgence of the Boko Haram, kidnapping, Armed banditry and other related crimes across the country.

“I will like to reassure you all that the Nigerian army is committed to the unity and security of this country and will do everything humanly possible to ensure that no part of this country is occupied by criminal elements.

“We will continue to support the civil authorities by ensuring that our country men and women are safe and protected in the course of their legitimate activities,” he stated.

According to the Army chief, the Federal Government is concerned with the security challenges in parts of the country.

He however noted that the military is winning the war against terrorism by stabilising the north-eastern region.

One of the achievements recorded in the military operations in the northeast, he stated, is the improvement of economic activities in the affected area.

READ ALSO: ‘RevolutionNow’: Police Vow To Resist ‘Forceful Change Of Government’

“The Nigerian Army in collaboration with other sister services and security agencies has been able to stabilise the situation, especially in the north-eastern part of Nigeria.

“Consequently, economic activities of the affected areas are gradually improving as the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are voluntarily returning to their ancestral homes with farmers going back to their farmlands,” he stated.

While appreciating the efforts of soldiers in the ongoing military operations in the fight against terrorism, the COAS admonished the new grandaunds to be loyal to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Nigerian Army Trains 259 Officers On Counter-Terrorism Operations

 

The Nigerian Army has trained a fresh set of 259 officers on counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations for onward deployment to the northeast and other troubled parts of the country.

During the six-month training, they were exposed to academic and field exercises such as tactical combat shooting, unarmed combat and water exercises, stop and search techniques on roadblocks and checkpoints, rescue missions, identification of Improvised Explosive Devices among other things.

At their passing out ceremony at the Nigerian Army School of Infantry, Jaji, Kaduna State, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, said the new officers are joining the force at a critical time when the military is doing everything possible to tackle the security challenges in the country.

He, therefore, stated that much is expected from them in terms of keeping the country together and tackling the rising security challenges especially by Boko Haram insurgents, among others.

UN Calls For Stronger ‘Global Response’ To Terrorism, Organized Crime

 

The UN Security Council called Friday for a better-coordinated “global response” to international terrorism and organized crime by working together to identify and eliminate such threats.

The council unanimously adopted the Peru-drafted resolution, which calls for increased cross-border collaboration in efforts to investigate and dismantle the links between terrorist groups and organized crime networks.

The resolution asks states to “enhance coordination of efforts at all levels in order to strengthen a global response to linkages between international terrorism and organized crime, whether domestic or transnational.”

The nature and scope of such linkages could be better understood by combining research, the resolution explained, adding that states should “accelerate the timely exchange of relevant operational information and financial intelligence” regarding terrorist networks’ actions.

Additionally, financial intelligence could help states better understand the “nature and scope” of potential links between terrorism and organized crime.

READ ALSO: One Dead, 14 Wounded In Clash Near DR Congo Gorilla Sanctuary

The resolution also called for states to “investigate, disrupt and dismantle organized crime networks” in accordance with national legislation regarding money laundering, corruption and bribery in addition to terrorism.

While speaking, Russia urged its allies in the Security Council not to politicize the question of links between organized crime and terrorism, though without specifying why.

The country emphasized that the work must continue after the resolution’s first steps had been taken.

This is not the Council’s first attempt at cracking down on international terrorism. In March, it ordered countries worldwide to step up the fight against terrorism financing by ensuring they have laws that make it a serious crime to fund terrorist acts.

AFP

US Offers $7m To Find Hezbollah Agent Wanted For Argentina Attack

In this file photo taken on July 18, 1994, a man walks over the rubble left after a bomb exploded at the Argentinian Israeli Mutual Association in Buenos Aires. ALI BURAFI / AFP

 

The United States on Friday offered a $7 million reward to find a Hezbollah operative accused of masterminding a deadly 1994 attack on a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, as it vowed to pursue the group worldwide.

The United States also imposed sanctions on the senior Hezbollah figure, Salman Raouf Salman, in tandem with his blacklisting by Argentina as it marks the 25th anniversary of the bombing, which killed 85 people.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was visiting Argentina on the anniversary of the attack, along with ministers from several Latin American nations visiting Buenos Aires for talks on counter-terrorism.

The State Department said it would give $7 million to anyone who provides information that leads to the location of Salman, also known as Salman al-Reda.

The Treasury Department said that Salman masterminded the 1994 attack and “has directed terrorist operations in the Western Hemisphere for Hezbollah ever since.”

“This administration will continue to target Hezbollah terrorists who plot horrific murderous operations and indiscriminately kill innocent civilians on behalf of this violent group and its Iranian patrons,” said Sigal Mandelker, the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

READ ALSO: Qaeda Attack In Yemen Kills Five Soldiers

Iran is the primary sponsor of Hezbollah, a Shiite Muslim militant movement as well as political party that waged a guerrilla campaign against Israel’s occupation of southern Lebanon.

Salman has been reported to have joint Lebanese and Colombian citizenship, allowing him to move more easily across Latin America.

Asked where he is believed to be now, a senior administration official said: “We think he is probably somewhere in the Middle East.”

The Treasury designation will freeze any assets he may have in the United States and criminalize any assistance to him, although Hezbollah as a whole is already under heavy US sanctions.

A State Department official said that the United States has been encouraging Latin American nations to follow the US model in blacklisting groups and individuals as terrorists — as seen in Argentina’s decision on Salman.

Nigeria Will Not Rest Until Terrorists Are Completely Decimated – Buhari

Ministerial List: I Am Under Tremendous Pressure – Buhari
(file photo) President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria will not rest until Boko Haram terrorists are completely decimated.

Buhari in a statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, said the nation’s armed forces are winning the war against insurgency.

He made this assertion on Saturday during the graduation ceremony of Senior Course 41 at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC) in Jaji, Kaduna State.

“I want to assure you that Nigeria, in partnership with our allies, will not relent until terrorists are completely decimated,’’ he said.

While commending the collaboration with neighbouring countries in the fight against Boko Haram terrorists, the President noted that the effort was crucial in destroying the insurgents.

He, therefore, called for military cooperation among African countries in rooting out the terrorists in the continent.

READ ALSO: Police Launch ‘Massive Manhunt’ For Killers Of Fasoranti’s Daughter

“Many of the security threats faced by Nigeria are trans-border in nature. That is why the West African sub-region and indeed the African continent must step up the level of military cooperation that currently exists amongst us.

‘‘I am sure you are aware of the collaboration of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, Republic of Cameroun, Niger, Benin and Chad in a multinational operation to decimate Boko Haram terrorists in the Lake Chad Basin and other regions.

‘‘The effort is laudable and has continued to yield positive results, as the war on terror is being won on all sides,” he stated.

The President also assured that the Federal Government will continue to give priority to the training and welfare of officers and men of the Armed Forces, including the eminent institution, established to train tactical and operational level officers on the tenets of staff work and command.

He also commended the Armed Forces for prompt responses to the numerous security challenges facing the county.

‘‘Your response to Boko Haram insurgency, banditry, militancy, kidnapping as well as activities of separatists and armed militias among others have been very commendable.

“The Nigerian Armed Forces have also committed huge resources towards stability of the West African sub-region and world peace in general,’’ he added.

The Commander-in-Chief while noting that the college had 13 international officers from 11 African countries and the Republic of Korea, commended the officers for the successful completion of the Course 41, an improvement on Senior Course 40, which had 11 international students.

Anti-Terror War: Olonisakin Seeks Collaboration Among ECOWAS Member States

General Abayomi Olonishakin at the 39th Ordinary Meeting of ECOWAS Chiefs of Defence Staff

 

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonishakin has called for collaboration and intelligence gathering among members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in the war against terrorism.

He made the call on Wednesday at the 39th Ordinary Meeting of ECOWAS Chiefs of Defence Staff at the regional body’s parliament in Abuja.

“The growing trend of local terrorist organisations affiliating with and receiving support from well known international terrorist organisations has also become very worrisome.

“In this regard, we need to intensify intelligence gathering, joint and combined operations to combat this menace,” he said.

READ ALSO: Troops Destroy Boko Haram Camps In Borno, Rescue Two Children, Women

The defence chief believes that tackling insecurity in Africa will require a new approach which will include not just land but maritime security.

Similarly, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, Nuratu Batagarawa, said the Naval chiefs in attendance at the meeting would also strengthen the fight against maritime crimes.

“Attention will also be paid to security issues in the maritime domain. Accordingly, the Chief of Naval Staffs are attending and expected to make contributions on issues of maritime security and safety, fight against terrorism and status of small arms stockpile management in the region amongst other issues,” he stated.

The meeting is to assess the commitment of member countries to the resolutions of the 38th meeting and proffer solutions to collective regional security problems.

Iran Declares US ‘State Sponsor Of Terrorism’

US President Donald Trump                                                           Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani

 

 

Iran declared the United States a “state sponsor of terrorism” and its forces in the region “terror groups”, in a tit-for-tat response to a similar US move on Monday.

The Supreme National Security Council said its decision came after the US designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a “terrorist organisation”.

In a statement carried by the official news agency IRNA, it slammed Washington’s move as an “illegal and foolish act”.

READ ALSO: Macron’s Aide Probed Over ‘False Testimony’ In Bodyguard Scandal

In return, it “declares that it considers the regime of the USA a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ and ‘the Central Command of America, known as CENTCOM’ and all forces related to it ‘terrorist groups’,” the statement said.

“The IRGC unlike America and its regional allies who have always supported extremist and terrorist groups in West Asia region, have always been in the frontline of fighting terrorism and extremism in the region,” the council added.

Part of America’s vast military presence around the globe, CENTCOM’s area of command covers multiple war zones and hotspots including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and the Gulf.

Iran’s top diplomat Mohammad Javad Zarif had earlier urged President Hassan Rouhani to place CENTCOM forces on Tehran’s list of terror groups, his ministry said.

Zarif blasted the US move on Twitter, saying it was timed to support Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of Tuesday’s parliamentary election in the Jewish state.

“A(nother) misguided election-eve gift to Netanyahu. A(nother) dangerous U.S. misadventure in the region,” he wrote.

The US decision came as part of already far-reaching attempts to undermine the Iranian government.

President Donald Trump said the “unprecedented” move “recognises the reality that Iran is not only a State Sponsor of Terrorism, but that the IRGC actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft.”

“The IRGC is the Iranian government’s primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign,” Trump said in a statement.

It is the first time the United States has applied the designation to part of a foreign government, rather than guerrilla groups or other informal entities.

The move follows Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of a multilateral deal with Iran that was meant to lift crippling economic sanctions in return curbs on Tehran’s nuclear programme.

AFP

New Waves Of Cybercrime, Terrorism Threatening Positive Strides, Says Buhari

 

The President says he is worried about the new waves of cybercrime and terrorism in the country.

He decried that they have continued to threaten the positive strides of his administration.

President Muhammadu Buhari said this in his keynote address at the Annual Investment Meeting which held on Monday in Dubai, UAE.

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He, however, noted that Nigeria has taken the lead in cyber policing in West Africa, by working with regional and global partners.

The President explained that his administration was working on creating the largest digital database in Africa.

He added that the nation’s digital identity system has captured over 30 million Nigerians and legal residents.

President Buhari challenged world leaders to ensure that the cyberspace was inclusive, accessible and safe.

According to him, digital globalisation is transforming the world and almost every day, innovations and transformative ideas are rolled out

The President noted that while the cyber world was intangible but real, it had impacted the lives of billions of people, no matter how remote they were physically located.

He was worried that the cyber world remained a constant threat if left unregulated, adding that its emerging threats were difficult to prevent or manage unilaterally.

President Buhari, therefore, called for a collective effort from both public and private sector leaders to tackle the challenge.

He insisted that a certain level of regulation was needed to preserve the integrity of the digital economy.

Read the President’s full speech at the meeting below:

It is with great pleasure that I address you today on this occasion of the 2019 Annual Investment Meeting here in Dubai.

I wish to thank His Royal Highness, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates, for inviting me to speak at this event.

This is the 9th edition of such a gathering. At this point, I want to congratulate HH, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum for his vision to support such a platform where world leaders in both the public and private sectors exchange ideas on how to make this world a better place.

This morning, my brief remarks will be on digital globalisation, which we all agree is transforming the world as we know it. Almost every day, innovations and transformative ideas are rolled out.  This trend is here to stay.

Today, we have a cyber world that is intangible but real. This borderless world is powerful, and it impacts the lives of billions of people, no matter how remote their physical locations are.

 

People work in it. People socialise in it. And people invest in it. This presents enormous opportunities. But it also remains a constant threat if left unregulated.

On the one hand, it has made the human race more productive and more efficient. Today, we have digital banking, virtual currencies and many social platforms that connect people and cultures.

On the other hand, we have seen platforms hijacked and manipulated as evidenced by the steady rise in fake news and cybercrimes.

More recently, we are also witnessing the use of the cyberspace to manipulate elections, subvert the democratic rights of citizens as well as propagate violence.

In effect, the digital world has become the new frontier for both good and evil. Therefore, the challenge for world leaders must be to ensure that this space is inclusive, accessible and safe.

In Nigeria, our mobile phone penetration exceeds eighty per cent. This means majority of Nigeria’s one hundred and ninety million citizens are fully connected to this new digital world; especially our youth.

 

Sixty-five per cent or one hundred and seventeen million Nigerians are under the age of 25 years. These bright minds are the drivers of this emerging digital sector.

Today, Nigeria has close to ninety technology hubs and every day, new ones are coming up and they are all developing solutions for Nigerian, and indeed global problems.

Already, these young entrepreneurs have attracted investments of over one hundred million dollars. A sizeable amount from overseas including Silicon Valley.

As many of you from this region are aware, Nigerian start-ups always have a very impressive outing at the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX). Many have won prizes.

As leaders, it is, therefore, our responsibility to create the enabling environment for these minds to flourish and reach their full potential.

 

When we came in 2015, we immediately agreed that any future economic growth must be inclusive.

As the Nigerian youth population are fully digitalised, it is clear that the idea of having an inclusive economy cannot be achieved without digital inclusion.

We, therefore, leveraged and supported digital platforms in our numerous socio-economic programs: from training extension workers in agriculture, health and education sectors; to enabling micro-credits to increase financial inclusion.

However, whilst this digital globalisation has occurred rapidly in the private sector, many governments and regulators have not kept pace.

New waves of cybercrime and terrorism continue to threaten the positive strides being made.

 

On cybersecurity, Nigeria has taken the lead in cyber policing in West Africa. In this, we are working with our regional and global partners.

Furthermore, our public sector reform programs focus on digitising key operations. From procurement to payroll to revenue collections, we are using digital platforms to reinforce our objectives of improving efficiency, accountability and transparency in governance.

We are also working on creating the largest digital database in Africa. Already, our digital identity system has captured over thirty million Nigerians and legal residents.

As earlier observed, the digital world is borderless. In many instances, the criminals in this world are faceless and without physical addresses. This is why we must all come together to protect the good while eliminating the bad.

 

Emerging threats are difficult to prevent or manage unilaterally. It has to be a collective effort, led by both public and private sector leaders – many of whom are here today. A certain level of regulation is needed to preserve the integrity of the digital economy.

I, therefore, would ask all of us here present, over the coming days, to put our heads together and come up with proposals on how we create a digital world that is accessible, inclusive and safe.

I thank you for listening and wish you very successful deliberations.

Thank you very much.

Nigerian Army Vows To Intensify Efforts In Tackling Terrorism

 

The Nigerian Army has pledged to intensify efforts in its fight against all forms of insecurity in the northwest region, specifically in Zamfara State and its environs.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Burutai, represented by Major General Lamidi Adeosun, gave the assurance on Monday during the inauguration of exercise Harbin Kunama III.

He believes that the exercise which was planned to hold from July 2 to 27, 2019, will help to reinforce troops in the region.


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He added that the Force was optimistic that it would help to stamp out kidnapping and all sorts of insecurity that are bedevilling the northwest.

“It is on this premise that Exercise Harbbin Kunama III is planned to mitigate the current threats to security challenges bordering the region, specifically Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara States,” Adeosun said at the Headquarters Brigade 1 in Gusau, the state capital.

The assurance comes on the heels of fresh attacks which left several persons killed and property destroyed in Zamfara.

On March 3, at least 30 persons were reported killed by armed men who raided a Kware village in Shinkafi district of the state, and burnt several homes.

Three soldiers were also said to have been killed in another attack in state.