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Interaction with Delegation from the Institute of Security Studies (ISS), Abuja, Nigeria

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  • June 13, 2013
    Round Table

    Chair: Dr Arvind Gupta, DG, IDSA

    IDSA Speakers: Ms. Ruchita Beri, ALACUN Centre Coordinator; Col (Retd.) Vivek Chadha, Research Fellow, IDSA

    The ISS delegation was composed of Nigerian scholars and officials from agencies including the Foreign Service, police, security forces, pharmaceuticals, and food and drugs control. The delegation brought together members of several agencies under one umbrella to study security challenges and solutions to these issues.

    The delegation was briefed on the historical ties that bind India and Nigeria and dating back to the 1950s. Bilateral relations have been marked by good economic relations, and also vital societal linkages. Key areas for dialogue between the two countries include terrorism, drugs and piracy. The delegation was also briefed on India’s mutual relationship with Nigeria, and India’s challenges with the issues of terrorism and insurgency. India and Nigeria have several commonalities such as large populations, democratic political systems, and multicultural and diverse societies; the two countries also share common challenges such as terrorism and insurgency. Though the buzzwords of India’s foreign policy in Africa are capacity building and human resource development, the two countries need to move beyond defence-training cooperation and look into larger strategic perspectives.

    The interaction also touched upon India’s long experience with counterterrorism and counterinsurgency. Some key points highlighted on these issues include: there is a need of different policy approaches towards internal violence/terrorism and terrorism/violence abetted from external support or inspiration; use of minimum force to bring one’s own people in the mainstream; and, that the solution has to be a coherent government approach rather than fragmented.

    It was generally agreed that building communication and transport facilities in terrorism and insurgency affected areas, employment generation, tough security measures to bring the insurgents on the negotiating table, efficient border management, and synergy among government and security agencies are key to achieving a solution. The idea of inclusive growth and diversity is crucial for both countries to achieve sustained peace and stability. International cooperation and sharing of best practices will be important ingredients in this process.

    Report prepared by Saurabh Mishra, Research Assistant, IDSA and Princy George, Research Assistant, IDSA