EU, Nigeria agree on a deal to fight BokoHaram, Mend, Massob and Odua Peoples Congress

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By Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja 

The European Union (EU) and the Federal Government yesterday agreed to engage experts to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency.

The sect has claimed responsibility for bomb blasts and shootings in which about 1,000 people have been killed.
The union and the Federal Government yesterday in Abuja signed a joint communique at the end of the two-day Third Nigeria-EU Ministerial meeting organised by the Foreign Affairs Minister, Olugbenga Ashiru and Denmark’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Villy Soevndal, on behalf of the EU.
The experts, they agreed, would be saddled with the responsibility of identifying the action plan to tackle the security challenges in the North. 
To also ensure peace in the Niger Delta, they agreed that the Federal Government should fully implement its amnesty programme for the region.
Ashiru said: “The parties shared the same analysis on peace, security and development challenges in the North, and in particular the threat of the extremist group known as Boko Haram.
“They agreed to engage experts to identify a possible action plan and to enhance their cooperation in counter-terrorism, while strengthening their efforts in addressing the  causes of the security challenges in the North.
“The parties agreed that the core values, which Nigeria and the EU share, are keys to overcoming terrorism. These values include an open society, adherence to the rule of law and respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights.
“The EU expressed its strong support for efforts to address the causes of the current security threat, including socio-economic, governance and security issues. Both parties agreed on the paramount importance of upholding the rule of law in the fight against terrorism. 
“The parties agreed to maintain their dialogue and cooperation with a view to consolidating peace and stability in the Niger Delta region.
“They underlined the need to continue efforts to fully implement the amnesty programme initiated by the Nigerian authorities.”
According to the minister, both parties agreed on the need to increase efforts to tackle the poverty and environmental degradation the region currently faces, with regard to the corporate social responsibility of the operating companies.
He said the two sides shared concerns about maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea and applauded the setting up of a Gulf of Guinea Commission and the ECOWAS draft integrated maritime security strategy. 
The meeting, Ashiru added, also dwelt on trade, investment, energy, mining, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), democracy, good governance, human rights, migration and other international matters.

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