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The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 639th meeting held on 29 November 2016, adopted the following decision on regional and international efforts to combat the Boko Haram terrorist group: 

Council:

1.  Takes note of the briefings provided by the Commission on regional and international efforts to combat the Boko Haram terrorist group and the Force Commander of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) on the security situation in the Lake Chad Basin and the MNJTF operations against Boko Haram. Council also takes note of the statements made by the representatives of Cameroon, Senegal, as Member of the A3 Group, the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the United Nations and the European Union (EU); 

2. Recalls its earlier communiqués and press statements on the activities of Boko Haram terrorist group and the efforts aimed at neutralizing the group, particularly communiqués PSC/AHG/COMM.2(CDLXXXIX) of its 484th meeting held on 28th January 2015 and PSC/PR/COMM.(CDLXXIV) of its 489th meeting held on 3 March 2015;  

3.  Strongly condemns the attacks by Boko Haram on innocent civilians and public institutions, as well as its abductions and kidnappings, carried out in the Lake Chad Basin;

4.  Welcomes the tremendous progress made by the Member States of Lake Chad Basin and Benin in weakening and degrading the capacity of Boko Haram. In this regard, Council commends the efforts made by the MNJTF in dislodging Boko Haram from its all its strongholds in the Lake Chad Basin;  

5.   Expresses concern over the persisting acute humanitarian situation caused by Boko Haram activities and appeals to the international community to continue providing assistance to the affected populations;

6.   Further expresses concern that a significant number of Boko Haram elements which surrender, and return with their families, exacerbates the existing dire humanitarian situation in the Lake Chad Basin and urges Member States, as well as the international community to mobilize and provide support to the ex-Boko Haram elements and their families; 

7.   Welcomes the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Support Implementation Agreement (SIA) between the Commission and the LCBC and MNJTF troop contributing countries for streamlining AU support to MNJTF. Council also welcomes the Steering Committee meeting held on 14 November 2016, to coordinate and share information on funding and support provided to MNJTF operations against the Boko Haram terrorist group, as well as the coordination meeting between AU and MNJTF senior military leaders held from 10 to 12 November 2016. In this regard, Council calls for acceleration of implementation of SIA and MoU, which aims at further strengthening the capacities of the multinational force;

8.   Expresses appreciation for the support provided by the partners, particularly the United Kingdom, European Union, the United Nations, the Economic Commission for West African States (ECOWAS) and other partners, and urges them to step up their efforts;

9.   Stresses the urgent need for resource mobilization in support of recovery efforts in those areas that have been affected by Boko Haram terrorist activities, including assistance to women, girls and other victims of the Boko Haram terrorist group;

10.  Also stresses the importance of sustained combat operations by the MNJTF to completely eliminate the Boko Haram menace. In this context, Council decides to renew the mandate of the MNJTF for another period of twelve (12) months, from its expiry on 31 January 2017; 

11.  Requests the Commission, in coordination with the LCBC Secretariat, to regularly update the Council, in line with the relevant provisions contained in the Communiqué PSC/AHG/ COMM.2(CDLXXXIV) of 29 January 2015;

12.  Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.  

Posted by Abraham Belayneh

Last updated by Abraham Kebede

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