The Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) has adopted regional stabilisation strategy for lasting peace and development of the region.
The document, which is a road map towards short, medium and long-term stabilisation and development of the Lake Chad Basin, was adopted at the 2018 ministerial conference for validation strategy for areas affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.
The document identifies three separate but interrelated and mutually reinforcing crises; structural and persistent development deficit; break down of the social contract that manifested in lawlessness and violent extremist insurgency; and unfolding environmental disaster.
Declaring the conference open, the minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu said the platform was established to gather political endorsement for the development and launching of a common regional approach to stabilisation of the crisis ravaged region.
Adamu added that it was aimed to commit the concerned authorities at the state and regional levels to the generation of relevant policies and programmes geared towards the short, medium and long-term stabilisation and development of the Lake Chad Basin.
“ On our part as a country, returning the region to normalcy is one of the highest priorities of the present administration,” he said.
In his welcome remarks, the executive secretary Lake Chad Basin Commission, Mamman Nuhu said the humanitarian crisis caused by Boko Haram requires a regional response to curtail.
Nuhu added, that the ex-combatants who depended solely on weapons for livelihood need to be carefully integrated into the society.
“The returning of young ex-combatants are like ‘lost generation’. Throughout the period of their insurgency, they had no access to education, employment and training. They depended on weapons and violence as the only means to make their ways to the top and earn some respect.
“And as they are demobilised they lose their military livelihood, many of them are likely to experience difficulties in adapting to civilian life,” he said.
He further noted that many of these persons may be easily re-recruited into another phase of armed conflict in another country or region hence the need to address the root causes of the violence and establish a lasting solution to it.
The communiqué issued at the end of the session and endorsed by all the ministers has nine point fundamental pillars aimed at achieving the objectives of stabilisation, recovery and resilience of the areas affected by Boko Haram crisis.
The nine point pillars of the strategy include; political cooperation; security and human rights; disarmament, demobilisation; rehabilitation; reintegration and reassertion of persons associated with Boko Haram; humanitarian assistance, governance and social contract, socioeconomic recovery and environmental sustainability, education and vocational training, prevention of violent extremism and peace building, empowerment and inclusion of women and youths.
The African Union (AU) high representative for Mali and the Sahel (MISAHEL) H.E Pierre Buyoya said the adoption of the stabilisation strategy was a demonstration of political will of the member states to bring an end to the Boko Haram scourge.
He called on the concerned authorities to tackle the root causes of the crisis particularly development of the region.
He charged the member countries to ensure religious implementation of the strategy, adding that AU will support every step towards peace and development of the region.
The United Nations resident coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon said the successful adoption of the strategy is a testimony of the commitment and resolve of government to change the fortunes of the Lake Chad region.
Kallon stated earlier that its adoption would scale up humanitarian efforts and address the root causes of the crisis.
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