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Nigeria pledges to strengthen military cooperation with Egypt despite violations in the name of counterterror

March 1, 2022 at 11:29 am

Egyptian army tank, 10 July 2017 [SSGT Jeffrey T. Brady, USAF/Wikipedia]

Egypt and Nigeria have pledged to strengthen military cooperation at the Second Meeting of the Egypt-Nigeria Joint Military Cooperation Committee.

“What we are looking forward to is how to derive maximum benefit from experiences in fighting insurgency and other crimes,” said Major General Usman Abdulmumuni Yusuf.

“Egypt has a good experience in fighting Islamic jihadists in some parts of the country. We have been experiencing insurgency in the northeast for some time now. We are going to be sharing experiences and training.”

Yusuf’s comments are concerning as Egypt is currently fighting a long and disproportionate war in the North Sinai governorate that has seen children arrested arbitrarily, thousands of people displaced from their homes and entire towns demolished and razed to the ground.

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President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has consistently tried to place this war in the realms of a war on terror even though rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, have said that war crimes are taking place including extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and air and ground attacks against civilians.

A 2018 Tahrir Institute report estimated that there were only ever 1,000 militants in Sinai at any given time, yet 100,000 people have been evicted making it completely disproportionate.

In January last year Egypt received a formal request from Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to cooperate over fighting terrorism through training courses and technical expertise.

Egypt has said it supports Nigeria in fighting Boko Haram and has previously given the Nigerian army training in how to deal with terror threats and armed groups.