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Abuja – Nigeria, 30 August 2018:  A Ministerial Conference of the Member States of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) was held at the Sheraton Hotel in Abuja with the support of the African Union (AU) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The conference was organised to consider and adopt the Regional Stabilisation, Recovery and Resilience Strategy for Areas Affected by Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin Region. The Strategy is expected to drive, rationalize and complement various initiatives and interventions aimed at stabilizing the areas affected by Boko Haram’s activities in the Lake Chad Basin region.

H.E. President Pierre Buyoya, African Union (AU) High Representative for Mali and the Sahel (MISAHEL), and Hon. Suleiman Hussein Adamu, Federal Minister of Water Resources, 1st Commissioner of Nigeria to LCBC and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the LCBC, jointly presided over the official opening of the conference, together with Amb. Mamman Nuhu, LCBC Executive Secretary.

Conference participants include Ministers from Member States of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and Benin. Governors from Lake Chad Basin region, especially areas affected by the activities of Boko Haram, the Force Commander (FC) of the Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel  (UNOWAS), United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) representative in Nigeria and UN country team in Nigeria, United Nations Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) and the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU), representatives of the Governments of Germany, European Union Delegation to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), international Development partners and other relevant Bodies from the UN.

Prior to the Ministerial Conference, Senior Officials from Lake Chad Basin Member States deliberated, validated and recommended for adoption of the Strategy by the LCBC Council of Ministers. The Strategy is aimed at addressing the short, medium and long-term stabilisation, resilience and recovery needs in the areas affected by Boko Haram. The nine pillars of the strategy which includes political cooperation; security and human rights; disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation, reinsertion and reintegration of Persons Associated with Boko Haram; humanitarian assistance; governance and social contract; socio-economic recovery and environmental sustainability; education and vocational training; prevention of violent extremism and peacebuilding; empowerment and inclusion of women and youth, respond to the multilayered challenges in the Lake Chad Basin region.

Speakers at the meeting collectively affirmed the enormous humanitarian and political challenges engendered by the diminishing Lake Chad and activities of Boko Haram, and applauded Member States of the Lake Chad Basin. They further underscore the importance of the Stabilisation strategy as critical to the long term development, peace and stability of the countries affected by the activities of Boko Haram, and implored member states, AU, Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms, international partners to support the implementation of the Strategy.

Following deliberations, the council of ministers unanimously adopted the Strategy.

The Ministerial Meeting also witnessed a signing ceremony for the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and the Support Implementation Agreement (SIA) between the African Union and the Council of Ministers of the Lake Chad Basin Commission for the enhancement of additional support to the MNJTF.

Posted by Jonathan Doe

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