Japanese ambassador to Nigeria, Matsunaga Kazuyoshi, has expressed concern over rising cases of violent extremist crimes such as terrorism, kidnapping, small-weapons smuggling and robbery in West Africa.
He also noted that military operations against terrorists had resulted in civilian casualties and serious damage in some cases.
Kazuyoshi called for a multi-country partnership to combat violent extremist crimes/terrorism in Nigeria and West Africa region.
He spoke Friday at the graduation of participants of the Counter Violent Extremism Course 3/2023 organised by the Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre (MLAILPKC) in Abuja.
The envoy said the training project was designed to focus on strengthening the capacity of security authorities and actors in West African countries to counter violent extremism and protect civilians in armed conflict.
According to him, the project will contribute to peace and stability in Nigeria and, by extension, throughout West Africa.
“In order to combat violent extremist crimes that are spreading across West Africa, it is important to have a multi-country partnership, not just a single country,” he said.
In his remarks, UNDP team leader, Governance, Peace and Security, Mr. Matthew Alao, commended the management of MLAILPKC for its steadfast, commitment and excellent implementation of the project.
Alao said building the capacities of the relevant partners to effectively counter violent extremism would improve socio-economic wellbeing of the respective population, sustain regional and national peace and development.
The commandant, MLAILPKC, Brig.-Gen. Obinna Onubogu, said the two weeks intensive training had participants from four West African countries, namely the Republics of Benin, Ghana, Sierra Leone and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.