India has offered to share its experience in insurgency operations with African countries impacted by the scourge of IS-affiliated terror group Boko Haram, with Cameroon Foreign Minister Lejeune Mbella Mbella making a specific request to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday.
During their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the India-Africa Forum Summit, Mbella gave Swaraj a detailed picture of how militancy had affected not just Nigeria, but also Cameroon, Niger, Chad and Benin, and asked for Indian help in capacity building to strengthen Cameroon’s defence forces, especially to fight Boko Haram.
“They wanted India to help them in capacity building in defence sector, so that the combined forces which are combating Boko Haram can be strengthened. We have agreed to look positively at this respect,” ministry of external affairs joint secretary (West Africa) Sanjeev Kohli told reporters.
Kohli said India would call a meeting of experts to gauge the needs of the Cameroon’s defence forces, and indicated it could be in the shape of specialised training programmes and information exchange. Further rounds of discussions would be required to firm up the nature of assistance, he said.