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Thursday, 9 March 2017

We have no hand in Boko Haram insurgency, says French ambassador, Denys Gauer

Denys Gauer

We have no hand in Boko Haram insurgency, French Ambassador in Nigeria, Denys Gauer, declared yesterday. Speaking with The Guardian in Abuja, Gauer stated that a national newspaper, (not The Guardian) recently published a report and photograph of a white man, which it claimed is a French national arrested by the Nigerian military in its operation against Boko Haram.

The French envoy said the white man in the newspaper report is a German national, who was kidnapped by members of the Boko Haram sect but was later rescued by Cameroun security forces.

He said the report was capable of creating credibility issues for the newspaper.“When a newspaper makes such an enormous blunder, it loses its credibility. Who will trust them anymore?”

On the allegation of some foreigners providing welfare and logistics support to Boko Haram, the envoy wondered how France could become sympathetic to Boko Haram, having been at the forefront of the war against terrorism across the world.

He noted that though France has its internal crises with some of its radicalised citizens who left France to join terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq, he maintained that there has never been any reported case of a French national providing support for the Boko Haram.

Gauer disclosed that France has put in place a strong legislation to deter its citizens from joining terrorist organisations. “We now have a strong law that when those guys come back to France, they are immediately arrested, but concerning Boko Haram, I must say I am not aware of any case of a French national involved in the group,” the envoy said.

He explained that when the Boko Haram insurgency got to a peak in 2014, former President Goodluck Jonathan approached President Francois Hollande of France who immediately convened a meeting of Nigeria neighbours, Chad, Niger and Cameroun in Paris where the Multi-national Joint Task Force, MJTF was established to deal with the situation. He added that although, Nigerian authorities had on several occasions blamed terrorism activities around the Lake Chad basin on nationals other than Nigerians, the diplomat stated that Nigeria’s Francophone neighbours believed otherwise.

Vía The Guardian Nigeria

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