27 February, 2014

French President Francois Hollande promised Nigeria support on Thursday in the battle against Islamist group Boko Haram, saying France would always be ready to help combat extremism in defence of democracy.

“Your struggle is also our struggle,”
Hollande told delegates at a security
conference in the capital Abuja ahead of
Nigeria’s unification centenary
celebrations. “We will always stand ready not only to provide our political support but our help every time you need it because the struggle against terrorism is also the struggle for democracy.”

Hollande lamented some of the recent
violence perpetrated by suspected by
Boko Haram fighters, including the
massacre earlier this week of at least 43
students in their sleep at a secondary
school in the Islamists’ northeast stronghold.

Despite crises in several regions, the French president maintained there was
reason for optimism in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. “Africa has a great future. It’s the continent of tomorrow,” he said but warned that such promise could be “impeded by insecurity”. He then vowed to double French overseas
development aid to the continent within
the next five years.

Hollande, guest of honour for the
celebrations to mark 100 years since
Nigeria’s unification, was expected to
hold talks on trade and investment with
his Nigerian counterpart Goodluck
Jonathan. But given the deteriorating Boko Haram conflict in northern Nigeria and France’s recent military interventions against militants in Mali and the Central African Republic, security was expected to feature prominently in bilateral talks.

About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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  1. triggah says:

    France the African policeman. If they say they’ll help we can count on them. Even though France MIGHT harbour plans to expand their influence in Africa, at this point we need all the help we can get.

  2. giles says:

    our struggle your struggle,den start leasing us some of ur hard wich u used in mali

  3. giles says:

    pls what’s d diffrent between d french VAB and our mowag ,btr 80,60

  4. doziex says:

    At this point, french, US or british help will come with strings attached. We could accept the help and deal with the strings later, or we could go the PMC route.

    As I have said a hundred times on this blog, mordern PMCs mimic the US/UK assistance packages but are privatised versions of it.

    They are consultants, solutions are designed for specific problems, there is no one size fits all approach.
    If we hire the services of say MPRI, they would advise, and design solutions to our needs, NOT fight in place of the NA.

    In south africa today, some arms manufacturers, are merging with PMC consultant units and are able to offer comprehensive solutions.

    The company nautica that has built some armored gunboats for NN has been purchased by one such company, and the also produce MRAPs amongst other systems.

    So COIN in the NE can be seen as one package, pipeline and flow station securiy in the niger delta another.
    Solutions to maritime insecurity etc. etc.

    With PMCs, once we pay our bills, there is no strings attached.

    • beegeagle says:

      Talking about French assistance, I will never understand the BBC’s fixation with prescribing emasculating and neocolonialist options for Nigeria. I have just seen a bit of BBC FOCUS ON AFRICA on DSTV and as usual, they were being pundits for nonsense which is not going to happen.

      First, they came up with a vox pop from the streets which seemed to tally with their neocolonialist preferences namely that “help from anywhere is welcome” but those who know the fiercely independent streak in Nigeria know that it does not extend to the option of NATO country boots on the ground in Nigeria. It is not going to happen. I am sure the BBC recall that the Anglo-Nigerian Defence Pact was abrogated right after independence in 1961 by an outpouring on the streets of Nigeria.

      So we are neither going to have French or British troops or bases in Nigeria like they have elsewhere in Africa. Y’all already sermonise too much about everything, are too meddlesome, too prescriptive and which is why you are losing out to China in Africa. So perish the thought, BBC.

      In case selective amnesia is the issue here, Boko Haram are operating out of the security voids in Chad, Niger and CAMEROON, all of which have mutual defence treaties with France and as such, Nigeria have to navigate around the French interest in these countries. That way, French and local forces in those countries either move against the BH presence on their soil or the French use their influence to clear the way for Nigerians to pursue hostile elements into those territories.

      That is what the Franco-Nigerian entente is all about…not about bringing in French troops into Nigeria to fight BH. So wake up, BBC.

      Indeed, I noticed as well that when the sure-footed Major Anyanya (rtd) began to burst the bubble, pointedly stating that the idea of French troops on the ground in Nigeria was dead on arrival, the BBC suddenly lost contact with their Abuja studios. More like they lost interest in the story.

      Truth is, he hit on many home truths which were edifying to the FGN and that does not sit well with the BBC who exist to be mouthpieces of malcontents, activists and opposition politicians. That is why BBC Hausa have been polluting the media space pursuant to the big agenda of regime change in favour of ANY “insider” come 2015.

      Yeah..the young but retired Major Anyanya told them that they greatly downplay the battlefield gains which have seen the insurgents pushed back from places across the Grand North, some situated over 1,000km from the borders of Borno such as Sokoto, Birnin Kebbi and Okene, restricting them to border precincts of the Far Northeast.

      Well, that painted the Nigerians in good light so the line to Abuja understandably went dead. Cynical entertainers. For how long can you guys continue your posturing about “journalistic impartiality?”. Look at your messed up, jaundiced and slanted coverage of the crises in Syria, Ukraine and Nigeria! Won’t British or French troops be needed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula as well?

      Ley us hope that their mostly cynical output gets better now that a balanced Peter Okwoche has replaced the worthy Komla Dumor of blessed memory.

    • tim says:

      Our army special forces were initally trained by isreali pmc, and their hand to hand combat skill screams isreli krav magav, which I personally love, and practice in my spear time…… sure if you check youtube, you will see videos of the isreali’s, training the army……also first batch sbs, had some training in isreali.

      • doziex says:

        Yeah men, I know that. But training is one thing, advising or mentoring is another.

        For example, the green berets trained the UPDF special forces, now they are advising them in the hunt for Joseph Kony.
        They did the same in the philipines, columbia, peru and many other nations.

  5. tim says:

    If you place a gun on my head or any part of my body,I will take it from you and stun you…….

  6. freeegulf says:

    have we stooped this low to start begging for french assistance. common guys, asking for french help is like turning into benin republic or togo.
    without trying to sound politically incorrect, I would advise that we need strong leadership. there is something indeed symbolic about leadership stands. we re currently running around like headless chickens

  7. tim says:

    I don’t think we need anyone to come instruct us on how to fight, we have the experience , the skill, all we need is more mulitplier effect equiments like more armed helicopers, and medium sized helicopters, and the will from the government to go all out!!!! I have a feeling is yaradua was alive, this BH nonsense would have been over.

  8. ifiok umoeka says:

    Breaking the silence, is it the French who in pursuit of their interest (to the exclusion of all others) have emerge the largest sponsors of BH in recent times that will be helping or who ‘muscled’ us out of mali? Hmm, let them start by tell us how much they’ve given BH in ransom money, commit not 2 pay them ransom again, help clear the way for hot pursuit and cross border raid (or help the Camerouns to better secure their side of the border) and help fix our pumas!
    While @ it, I hope we remember that we and probably Algeria are the only threat to French imperial interest in Africa!
    By the way, the French president came for our centenary celebrations but the Brits sent a minister! How many countries even bothered to send reps? For those who sing of our prowess and clout, perhaps this is very revealing! Especially as we had a better 50th anniversary than this! Good morning

  9. ifiok umoeka says:

    My brother, Yar’dua was an infinitely more decisive and purposeful man, let’s give him that! However, this phase started with him not dealing properly with the extra judicial killing of a certain somebody!

  10. peccavi says:

    Oga Ifiok umoeka, comparing France to Togo or Benin is a little bit strange. Pray explain. Yar Adua’s ‘decisiveness’ is what led us to this nightmare with the slaughter of Boko Haram members and non members in Maiduguri in 2009 and the murder or their leader. All televised. Maybe not on his direct orders but that was a stupid decision that turned a run of the mill group into the psychotics we have today and led to the rise of the Shekau clique.

    Whether we get help from PMC, Israelis, French etc is neither here nor there. What is relevant is what are we looking for and what they are getting in return.

  11. startrek says:

    I was asked yesterday by my colleagues why did Nigeria invited the French presidio of all nations on earth in the first place…… well I don’t know, anybody care to help

    • asorockweb says:

      I am sure we invited many western leaders to the conference – the real question is, why was it just the French that showed up.
      ANSWER: France is Europe’s leader in africa

  12. Anas says:

    Monsieur holland a few units of ur harfang drones conducting surveillance over northern cameroun wuld be help ful

  13. chucks says:

    Oga startrek, in response to ur question, monsieur hollande muscled us out of mali,as our presence really didn’t go down well with him. His presence in Nigeria was more strategic than political. A kind of rapprochement and fence mending as well as serious discussion on the way forward. Our camerounian neighbours will soon be more helpful and decisive as it concerns BH

  14. startrek says:

    thanks m ogas

  15. ifiok umoeka says:

    Oga peccavi, u completely lost me on the Togo/Benin front!
    However, on ‘decisiveness’ et al, we are saying the same thing! However, like I said, it was how he handled the killing that is my point! Remember, mr yusuf was singing and his political puppeteers need to silence the song, so the killed a mocking bird…and Yar’adua didn’t check behind the stage! He was a very ill man. That said, he was a man who didn’t waste time about a matter once his mind was made up!

    • doziex says:

      Yes sir, its about time.
      Cameroun has been begging for some thrashing for years Now.

      Nigerian leaders should however, get ready for a real war, cause france might attempt some mischief.
      There must be a total rearmament to the tune of several billions usd.
      As matter of fact, once we start rearming, everybody would modify their behaviour for the better.

  16. Yagazie says:

    “your struggle is ou struggle” – eh bien – what happened to the 12 fennec helicopters promised to Nigeria during the tenure of the former french president Nicholas Szakozy? Making good on that promise will be a practical demonstration of president Hollande’s declaration of solidarity. Words are cheap.

    • doziex says:

      they provided 5 super puma helicopters to nigeria, nigeria took forever to pony up the already budgeted cash.
      Those 5 were sold, and eventually,france had to come up with another set of choppers when nigeria finally paid thru the UN .
      Nigeria then promptly sent the choppers to darfur negating the vast domestic need for these choppers.
      The french will sell us what we want, but our greedy thieving officials should be ready to pay.

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