The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen Lucky Irabor has called for regional and international collaboration to address the challenges of ungoverned spaces in Africa. Gen Irabor made the call on Wednesday in Abuja at the opening of a two-day international conference on “Africa’s Ungoverned Spaces and Regional Security: Building Resilience in Democratic Institutions”.
The CDS was represented by AVM Charles Ohwo, Chief of Transformation and Innovation DHQ. He said many scholars had adopted the term, “Ungoverned Spaces” to refer to areas where land and maritime domains had little or no governance presence. He said African countries had struggled to attain appreciable level of economic development since independence, due partly to myriads of security challenges. According to him, the security challenges persisted because criminals have places to hibernate and operate from. “If you move away from Nigeria to Sahel region, for instance, large terrorists exist where constitutional authorities cannot control and dominate. “Consequently, non-state actors are predominant in these areas, an indication that there are spaces to occupy with little or no resistance from constitutional authorities. “These criminal entities that operate within and across borders require national, regional and international approaches to curtail their excesses,” Gen Irabor said.
In his remark, the Commandant, National Defence College, Rear Admiral Murtala Bashir said the conference, targeted at addressing ungoverned spaces in Africa, was apt. He said that ungoverned spaces have negative effects on regional and global security, making it easy for undocumented migrants to cross between countries. In attendance was the Chairman House Committee on Defence Hon Babajimi Benson, Ambassador Hadiza Mustapha were among the attendees of the conference.