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Nigeria: Communique of the 1010th meeting of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union on the Implementation of the Regional Strategy for the Stabilization, Recovery and Resilience of the Boko Haram affected areas of Lake Chad Basin, 19 July…

1576543 psc.comm .1010.regional.stabil.strategy.lake .chad basin. 19 .07.2021

Adopted by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) at its 1010th meeting held on 19 July 2021 on the Implementation of the Regional Strategy for the Stabilization, Recovery and Resilience of the Boko Haram affected areas of Lake Chad Basin:

The Peace and Security Council,

Recalling its previous decisions and pronouncements on the situation in the Lake Chad Basin Region, particularly, Communiques [PSC/PR/COMM.(CMLXXIII] adopted at its 973rd meeting held on 18 January 2021, [PSC/PR/COMM (DCCCXVI)] adopted at its 816th meeting held on 5 December 2018, [PSC/PR/COMM (DCCXXXVIII)] adopted at its 738th meeting held on 7 December 2017, [PSC/PR/COMM (CDLXXXIX)] adopted at its 489th meeting held on 3 March 2015, and [PSC/AHG/COMM.2(CDLXXXIV)] adopted at its 484th meeting held at the level of Heads of State and Government on 29 January 2015 concerning regional and international efforts aimed at combatting the Boko Haram terrorist group;

Also recalling the provisions of the Chapter VIII of the UN Charter on the role of regional arrangements in the maintenance of international peace and security, and emphasizing the vital role of the RECs/RMs as primary responders of crisis/conflict situations in their respective jurisdictions, in line with the cardinal principles of subsidiarity, complementarity and comparative advantage;

Noting the opening remarks made by H.E Ambassador Victor Adeleke, Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the AU and Chairperson of the PSC for July 2021, and the statement by H.E Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security; Also noting the statements by the Executive Secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and Force Commander of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF);

Reaffirming AU Solidarity with the governments and people of the countries of the LCBC, as well as the unwavering commitment of the AU to continue to support them in the implementation of the Lake Chad Basin Regional Stabilization, Recovery and Resilience Strategy (RSS);

Acting under Article 7 of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council:

  1. Welcomes the progress made on the implementation of the RSS, despite the continued attacks by the Boko Haram and the Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) terrorist groups, and the impact of the outbreak and spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as well as the recent security and political challenges in the Republic of Chad;

  2. Commends the political cooperation and mutual trust between and among the affected countries of the region and in this regard pays tribute to the Executive Secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, H.E. Ambassador Mamman Nuhu, for his role in providing leadership for regional led initiatives and interventions and confidence-building measures between the countries of the region and the operations of the MNJTF;

  3. Further welcomes the outcome of the Steering Committee (SC) meeting for the implementation of the RSS and highlights the importance for greater efforts to promote complementarity with relevant Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs), development partners, and other relevant stakeholders, including civil society organizations, women and youth of the Lake Chad Basin (LCB) region;

  4. Applauds the Governors of the worst-affected areas of the Lake Chad Basin for their efforts in the development of the Territorial Action Plans (TAPs) and the creation of the Governors Forum aimed at developing context-specific plans and national ownership of the TAPs; commends them for the collective efforts being deployed in addressing the various security threats facing the region; and encourages them to remain resolute in their efforts and to continue to further strengthen their cooperation, enhance their collective security mechanism and to hasten the implementation of the RSS;

  5. Expresses concern over the protracted insecurity in the region owing to persistent attacks by non-state actors, kidnapping of school children with debilitating impact on their development and violation of their rights, and the adverse effect of climate change on the livelihood of many people, particularly the drying up of the Lake Chad resulting in the decline of fish production and degradation of pasturelands; and calls on all non-state actors to adhere to the Safe Schools Declaration and its Guidelines to ensure that children are protected from harm, and their rights are guaranteed;

  6. Also expresses the concern that the announced death of the leader of the Boko Haram terrorist group, Abubakar Shekau, is encouraging the Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) to further consolidate its activities, with ramifications for the people of the LCB region, and further expresses concern about the security threats posed by foreign terrorist fighters and foreign forces in Libya, as well as the illicit exploitation of natural resources and the circulation of small arms and light weapons ;

  7. Expresses appreciation to the bilateral and multilateral partners for their continued support to the countries of the LCB region and requests them to step up this support; in this regard, welcomes the launching of the 100 million USD Regional Stabilization Facility (RSF) for Lake Chad on 17 – 18 July 2019 in Niamey, Niger, to support immediate stabilization activities, development and peacebuilding efforts in the region. In the same context, underscores the importance of ensuring that all support provided is in line with the identified priorities, needs and objectives of the concerned countries and the MNJTF and respects the national and regional ownership of this endeavour;

  8. Further expresses appreciation to the International Community through the International Support Group (ISG) for the unwavering support to stabilization efforts for the LCB region through the RSF and takes note of the support of the Government of Norway for its contributions to significantly strengthen the capacity of the Commission through the Norwegian Capacity (NORCAP) to support the LCBC and the MNJTF to discharge its mandate for the stabilization of the region effectively, and stresses the importance of sustaining this support for the implementation of the TAPs post COVID-19 pandemic;

  9. Underscores the importance of establishing a multiparty trust fund aimed at promoting better accounting method and ensure enhanced coordination of all resources and that resources are disbursed based on a needs assessment in the affected countries of the region; and calls on all stakeholders to intensify efforts in mobilizing funds and the requisite support to ensure the immediate recharging of the lake Chad, through the inter-water basin transfer initiative;

  10. Encourages the AU Commission, in collaboration with the LCBC, to undertake an institutional capacity needs assessment, including readiness assessment of the countries of the region for the implementation of TAPs and with the support of partners to conduct capacity building exercises where required;

  11. Underscores the imperative of concerted efforts towards addressing the structural root causes and socio-economic conditions in the region, and in this respect, urges the AU Commission, through its Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) Centre in Cairo, Egypt, working in close cooperation with the LCBC and affected countries, to identify and initiate quick impact projects (QIPS) and peace strengthening projects (PSPs) in the short-term, as well as medium and long-term development initiatives geared towards building resilience, recovery and sustainable peace in the region;

  12. Highlights the importance of strengthening institutional collaboration between the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in the implementation of the RSS; emphasizes the need for sharing information and intelligence, and joint investigations along shared borders;

  13. Expresses concern over the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the affected areas in the region, which has been accentuated by the effects of climatic change, insecurity and the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and in this regard appeals to all AU Member States and the international community to step up humanitarian and necessary support to the affected communities, including food insecure civilians, internally displaced persons, the refugees and those who have surrendered from the Boko Haram terrorist group;

  14. Encourages the AU Commission to deepen its engagement with the Lake Chad Basin Regional Civil Society Platform, including women and youth towards enhancing their contributions to stabilization, peacebuilding, humanitarian assistance and broader PCRD interventions in the region;

  15. Commends the AU Commission for its political leadership and support to the LCBC and urges the AU Commission and the LCBC to continue supporting the affected countries to undertake effective interventions in the screening, prosecution, rehabilitation and reintegration of persons associated with Boko Haram, promotion of good governance, the rule of law, human rights and provision of mental health and psychosocial support;

  16. Requests the AU Commission to accelerate the development of a standard operating procedure on stabilization as an effective tool using the LCBC model to inform the design and development of similar mechanisms for stabilization operations on the continent;

  17. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

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