The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Yusuf Tuggar, has expressed fear over the increasing coups in West Africa, saying “it could snowball into engulfing the entire African continent.”
It was contained in a statement sent by Alkasim Abdulkadir, SA Media and Communications Strategy, to the minister on Tuesday in Abuja.
Tuggar expressed concern at the 10th Annual High-Level Seminar on the promotion of peace and security in Africa in Algeria, according to the statement.
He warned against describing the unconstitutional change in government in West Africa as solely a regional problem.
He said West Africa was also faced with the challenges of terrorism and other cross-border criminalities.
The seminar had the theme, “Resurgence of unconstitutional changes of governments in Africa: Global outlook, response, and implications for the A3.”
It was aimed at assisting African members of the UN Security Council in preparing to address peace and security issues on the continent.
At the seminar, the minister said it was easy to describe the military takeover in some West African countries as a problem of the region without looking at the root causes, including the proliferation of arms from the war in Libya and other factors.
According to Tuggar, simply looking at the military takeover as a West African problem is escapist and a denial of what may lie ahead.
He said, “In examining the root causes of UCG and proffering solutions, it is important to consider not just endogenous factors of governance, election processes but also important to consider the exogenous factors.
“Some might look at West Africa and say West Africa must have a problem, and that is why it is happening there.
“West Africa was not responsible for the implosion of Libya that brought out the proliferation of arms.
“West Africa was not responsible for failure of EU’s Sahel Strategy.
“It may not necessarily be responsible for climate change in the Sahel, and I can go on and on and on.
“The easier option is to ignore all these things or to wish them away and simply say there is something West Africa is doing wrong and try and accommodate the new military regimes.
“However, that would be fatal for the whole of Africa because we want to get to the issue of fighting terrorism in the entire Africa, in North Africa, and other parts.”
Tuggar further stated that “it is easy to think the solution is to accommodate these new military regimes and work with them because they are dear to you, and that way you can continue to fight against terrorism, but this would not work.”
He, however, advised that the solution would be to bring life into the African Union body of programmes because terrorist groups and other criminal gangs edging ways in border areas, and West Africa had complex border areas.
He further stressed that issues of territory were difficult to manage.
He said the African Union body of programmes bringing about development and infrastructure would be more coercive and more coordinated.
“We don’t give in to this military takeover under pressure from social media.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Tuggar led the Nigerian delegation to the seminar.
The seminar was chaired by Dr. Mamadou Tangara, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, and Gambians Abroad of the Republic of Gambia.
This was in his capacity as the Chair of the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) for December.