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1. The Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence of Benin, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, as well as representatives of Canada, China, France, the United States of America, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, the United Nations, the European Union (EU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the African Union (AU), the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and Community of Sahelo-Saharan States (CENSAD) met in Niamey, Niger, on 20 January 2015, under the chairmanship of Honorable Minister Mohamed Bazoum, Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation, African Integration and Nigeriens living abroad, to consider the implementation of the decisions and commitments made at the Paris, London and Abuja Conferences within the framework of the fight against Boko Haram.

2. Participants were briefed by the Nigerian authorities on the situation prevailing in their country and on the status of implementation of the Conclusions of the Abuja meeting, held on 3 September 2014.

3. Participants followed the presentations made by the delegations of Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

4. Participants welcomed the adoption of a presidential statement by the UN Security Council, as well as the adoption of communiqués by the AU Commission and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

5. Participants exchanged views on the status of implementation of the decisions of the Abuja meeting, the activities of the Boko Haram group and its consequences, as well as on the measures to be taken in the period ahead.

6. Chad and Cameroon briefed the participants on their joint military cooperation in the fight against Boko Haram in Cameroon. Participants welcomed the decision of the President of the Republic of Chad, His Excellency Mr. Idriss Deby Itno, to deploy troops in Cameroon at the request of that country, as a highly appreciated gesture of African solidarity.

7. The establishment of the Coordination and Liaison Cell, based in N'Djamena, will continue with the support of the P3 Member countries.

8. The meeting noted that the Boko Haram sect has, since its emergence, distinguished itself through violent attacks against civilians, summary executions, looting and destruction, extortion with the threat of death, abduction and harassment of Defence and Security Forces of the region, particularly in Cameroon and Nigeria. The meeting strongly condemned the attack carried out on 3 January 2015 against the village of BAGA, which resulted in large scale massacres considered as a crime against humanity.

9. Participants noted that the abuses committed by Boko Haram had caused significant of refugees from the Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States into Niger, Chad and Cameroon, as well as massive internal displacement persons.

10. The meeting expressed its concerns about the funding sources of Boko Haram.

11. Participants noted that the continued deterioration of the situation in Nigeria and the occupation of vast territories in the north-eastern part of the country resulted in the following:

- a significant increase in the operational capacity of Boko Haram;

- a massive influx of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) thereby triggering  a severe humanitarian crisis;

- strong pressure on natural resources in the host countries that may generate tension between refugees and local communities;

- increase in banditry;

- the outbreaks of epidemic diseases such as cholera;

- the necessary establishment of new refugee camps to better control the situation.

12. Participants made the following recommendations:

 

  • At the security level :

- Enhancement of cooperation between the States bordering the Lake Chad Basin through exchange of intelligence. This will include, in particular, the organization, as soon as possible, of a seminar of Chiefs of Defence Forces/ Chiefs of Staff of the countries of the region to prepare the Concept of  Operations (CONOPS) of the Joint Multinational Task Force (JMNTF) and the finalization  of the establishment of a Headquarters;

- Establishment of the Headquarters of the MNJTF in N'Djamena, Chad;

- Establishment of a secure common radio communications network for the security forces operating in and around the Lake Chad Basin;

- Definition of the modalities of a stronger commitment of strategic partners in the fight against Boko Haram;

- Urgent finalization of the Coordination and Liaison Cell, in Ndjamena, by the dispatch of officers from countries of the region and the P3 members;

- Implementation of civil-military actions to enhance cooperation between the Defense and Security Forces and the populations.

 

  • At the African and international levels:

- Request the Chairperson of the AU Commission to submit a Report on the regional and international efforts being deployed in the fight against Boko Haram, particularly the Conclusions of this meeting, in order for the PSC to authorize the deployment and mandate the MNJTF;

- Request the AU Commission to organize, in cooperation with the LCBC, ECOWAS, Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), CENSAD, OIC and international partners, a meeting of experts during the first week of February 2015, to finalize the Concept of Operations, the Concept of Logistical Support, the rules of engagement and other relevant documents for the full operationalization of the MNJTF;

- participants stressed that the Concept of Operation of the MNJTF should be flexible so as to facilitate the provision, within the framework of the MNJTF,  of timely support to bilateral or tripartite arrangements such as the one between Chad and Cameroon;

- transmission, by the Chairperson of the Commission, of the CONOPS and the PSC Communiqué to the  Security Council for the adoption of a resolution authorizing the MNJTF and the establishment of a Trust Fund;

- organization of a Donors Conference to mobilize resources for the MNJTF;

- establishment of a Support Group around the Member States of the LCBC and appeal to strategic partners to support the implementation of the strategy developed by the LCBC;

- strengthening of the international emergency humanitarian action for internally displaced persons in Nigeria and the refugees in Niger, Cameroon and Chad;

- request to the International Criminal Court, to expedite progress in the ongoing process relating to crimes against humanity committed by Boko Haram in Nigeria.

13. The Government of the Republic of Chad agreed to host the next follow-up ministerial meeting.

 

Done in Niamey, 20 January 2015

 

 

 

Posted by Limi Mohammed

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