President Muhammadu Buhari says the African continent is the new frontline of global militancy.
In an opinion article published in Financial Times on Sunday, Buhari said while the world is preoccupied with curbing the spread of COVID-19, terrorism is worsening.
The president’s article was centred on the crisis unfolding in Afghanistan.
The Taliban has taken over power in Afghanistan after capturing all the major cities in the country.
“COVID-19 has been like oxygen for terrorism, allowing it to gain in strength while the world was preoccupied,” Buhari said.
“Africa is the new frontline of global militancy. Yet few expect the outlay expended here to be as great as in Afghanistan. The fight against terrorism begun under the George W Bush administration was never truly global.
“Despite rising attacks across Africa in the past decade, international assistance has not followed in step. Mozambique is merely the latest African state in danger from terrorism.
“The Sahel remains vulnerable to Boko Haram, 20 years after its formation, and other radical groups. Somalia is in its second decade fighting the equally extreme al-Shabaab. Many African nations are submerged under the weight of insurgency.
“As Africans, we face our day of reckoning just as some sense the west is losing its will for the fight. It is true that some of our western allies are bruised by their Middle Eastern and Afghan experiences. Others face domestic pressures after the pandemic. Africa was not then, and even less now, their priority.
“If Afghanistan has taught us a lesson, it is that although sheer force can blunt terror, its removal can cause the threat to return.”
Buhari said Africa has enough soldiers to defend it, adding that the US could assist the continent with advanced weaponry.
“The US air strikes last month against al-Shabaab in Somalia — the first of the Biden administration — show what can and should be done,” he said.