Nigeria deepens security ties with Egypt to battle Boko Haram

By George Mikhail
Feb.8, 2021

Egypt is concentrating on strengthening its economic and security influence in Nigeria and consolidating relations with the ruling regime there. On Jan. 27, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi received a letter from his Nigerian counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari, which included a formal request from Nigeria to cooperate with Egypt in security fields, especially combating terrorism by organizing training courses and exchanging technical expertise.

Buhari’s letter, delivered to Sisi by Nigerian Ambassador Joseph Kishi, dealt with ways to enhance Nigerian-Egyptian cooperation in the fields of the economy and trade, and how to benefit from Egypt’s role in supporting Nigeria in infrastructure projects, particularly roads and power generation.

The Egyptian interest in Nigeria has recently increased, stressed Egyptian Ambassador to Nigeria Ihab Awad, during his meeting with Buhari Jan. 28. He said, “Ties with Nigeria have grown stronger in recent years, in light of Egypt’s keenness to do so.”

Samir Ghattas, head of the Middle East Forum for Strategic Studies, told Al-Monitor that the Egyptian-Nigerian relations include several areas, most notably the security field. “Egypt supports Nigeria against the extremist organization Boko Haram. Cairo has decided to establish the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) regional anti-terrorism center, through which Nigeria receives security support by training its forces on how to combat terrorism and track down extremist groups.”

In December 2018, the Egyptian army invited several CEN-SAD countries for a joint military training, during which the Nigerian forces were trained on how to deal with various terrorist threats such as armed groups and the release of hostages.

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