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   The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 518th meeting held on 25 June 2015, was briefed by the Commissioner for Peace and Security on the efforts being deployed to neutralize the Boko Haram terrorist group, including the operationalization of the Joint Multinational Task Force (MNJTF) established by the Member States of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and Benin. Council also listened to the statements made by the Permanent Representative of Niger, as Chair of the LCBC, as well as by those of Benin, Chad and Nigeria. Council further listened to the statements made by the representatives of France, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, as members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, as well as by the UN Secretariat and the European Union (EU).

   Council recalled its earlier pronouncements on the Boko Haram terrorist group, including communiqués PSC/AHG/COMM.2(CDLXXIV) and PSC/PR/COMM.(CDLXXXIX)-Rev.1 and press statement PSC/PR/COMM.2(D), adopted at its 484th, 489 and 500th meetings held on 29 January, 3 March and 27 April 2015, respectively.

   Council, while acknowledging the progress made on the ground, noted with deep concern the continued ability of the Boko Haram terrorist group to carry out deadly attacks against both military and security targets and civilians. Council strongly condemned the attacks perpetrated recently in the Borno State, Nigeria, as well as in Niger, including against a contingent of the Nigerien army deployed in the Karamga Island, on the Lake Chad, and the suicide bombing that took place in Ndjamena, Chad, on 15 June 2015. Council reiterated the AU’s solidarity with the affected countries and their Governments, presented its condolences to the bereaved families and wished a speedy recovery to the wounded.

   Council commended the LCBC Member States and Benin for their continued efforts to fully operationalize the MNJTF and eliminate the threat posed by the Boko Haram terrorist group. In this respect, Council welcomed the inauguration, in Ndjamena, on 25 May 2015, of the operational headquarters of the MNJTF. Council further welcomed the final communiqué adopted by the Extraordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the LCBC Member States and Benin, held in Abuja, Nigeria, on 11 June 2015, including the endorsement of the strategic- and operational-level Concept of Operations and other related documents for the MNJTF; the deployment of national contingents to the MNJTF under the operational command of the MNJTF Commander by 30 July 2015; the designation of the Executive Secretary of the LCBC as the Head of Mission and the appointment of the Force Commander, Deputy Force Commander and Chief of Staff for the MNJTF. Council noted that, in accordance with paragraph 11 of communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(CDLXXXIX)-Rev.1, the LCBC Executive Secretariat had formally notified to the Commission the appointment of the senior officials of the MNJTF.

   Council welcomed the continued determination of the Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorist group, as reaffirmed in the final communiqué of the 16th Ordinary Session of the ECCAS Summit held in Ndjamena on 25 May 2015. Council noted, in particular, the renewed commitment of ECCAS to work towards the holding of a joint Summit with ECOWAS to enhance coordination in the fight against Boko Haram.

   Council also commended the Commission for its efforts and the steps being taken in support of the operationalization of the MNJTF, in accordance with paragraph 12 of communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(CDLXXXIX)-Rev.1 and in response to the request of the LCBC as reiterated in the final communiqué of the LCBC Extraordinary Summit of 11 June 2015. Council, in particular, welcomed the visit undertaken by the Commissioner for Peace and Security, jointly with the UN Special Representatives for Central and West Africa, to Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria, from 24 to 29 May 2015, to reiterate the international solidarity with the affected countries, as well as to assess the regional efforts to eliminate the Boko Haram terrorist group and identify further steps necessary for the enhancement of these efforts.

   Council reiterated its appeal to the Member States and the larger international community to provide the requisite assistance for the full operationalization of the MNJTF. In this respect, Council, recalling its earlier efforts towards the adoption by the UN Security Council of a resolution that would endorse the deployment of the MNJTF and authorize the provision of the requisite support, noted that, at their 11 June 2015 Extraordinary Summit, the Heads of State and Government of the LCBC Member States and Benin had requested the Security Council to adopt a statement in support of the MNJTF operations against the Boko Haram terrorist group. Council expressed support for that decision, and looked forward to speedy progress in this respect.

   Council stressed, once again, the need to complement the much-needed military and security operations against the Boko Haram terrorist group by sustained national and regional efforts, with international support, to improve livelihoods, promote education and job creation, as well as ensure the protection of human rights, particularly those of women and girls. In this respect, Council welcomed the adoption, by the 11 June 2015 Extraordinary Summit of the LCBC Member States and Benin, of the Emergency Plan for Development in the Lake Chad Basin. Council appealed to the AU Member States and the larger international community to extend all the necessary support for the effective implementation of this Emergency Plan, and requested the Commission to liaise with the LCBC to identify practical steps through which the AU and its relevant structures could contribute to these efforts.

 

 

Posted by Fisseha Abraham
Last updated by Abraham Kebede

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