The UK government has promised £12.6 million to support efforts to combat terror in the Lake Chad Basin region covering Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad.
Britain’s foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, made the announcement on Monday at a meeting of the Global Coalition against Daesh in Rome.
“The funds will be used to support both the regionally-led military fight against Daesh, and projects encouraging its fighters to leave the terrorist group,” Mr Raab said.
The coalition meeting comes a day before the seventh anniversary of the terror group’s proclamation of its self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria, and two years since the caliphate’s territorial defeat in Syria.
Foreign ministers from more than 45 countries reconvened in person to discuss “deepening cooperation” to combat Daesh and its affiliate terrorist groups, including emerging threats across the African continent.
Mr Raab urged the coalition partners to come together to tackle this “pressing threat and target the longer-term drivers of terrorism.”
He added: “The UK is funding a new Conflict, Stability and Security Fund programme for the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, where Daesh’s affiliate, known as Islamic State West Africa (ISWA), is responsible for significant violence.”
According to him, this will support regional military efforts to counter the terrorist groups, as well as efforts to “safely demobilise” suspected low-level members of terrorist groups.
Two years after ISIS territorial defeat, Mr Raab said its hateful ideology has not gone away.
“Worryingly it continues to grow in Africa which is why we must work with our Coalition partners to fight its poisonous propaganda on all fronts,” the foreign secretary said.
“We stand shoulder to shoulder with our African partners to tackle the growing threat from Daesh-linked groups across Africa, particularly in the Lake Chad Basin.”
The Lake Chad Basin countries have experienced traumatic attacks from Boko Haram and other terrorist groups.
Members of Boko Haram and ISWAP reunited recently and pledged their allegiance to one Aba Ibrahim Al-Hashimiyil AlKhuraishi, whom they unanimously ordained as ‘Khalifan Muslimai’, translated as “The leader of all Muslims”.
This comes barely a month after Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau reportedly killed himself after a violent confrontation with some renegade Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) top commanders.