Ministers of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), Monday, met in Abuja to share experiences on ways to improve regional security, stability and reclaim the region from the activities of Boko Haram and other insurgents.
The ministers and experts from the six countries of the Lake Chad region said that they would validate a regional stabilization strategic plan that could shape the disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, rehabilitation and reintegration of insurgents and victims of insurgency in the region.
The workshop which commenced on Monday, in Abuja, is expected to last for three days, hosting experts from African Union, UNDP and the LCBC saddled with the responsibility of producing an all-inclusive stabilization strategy document on the recovery of Boko Haram affected areas of the region, at the end of their deliberations.
The Executive Secretary, Lake Chad Basin Commission, Ambassador Mamman Nuhu, who underscored the importance of such a policy document in boosting economic and development growth in the region, noted that the economic vibrancy enjoyed by the member states of the commission in the past, have been cut short because of the activities of insurgents, the human rights violations and rampant killings.
“Stabilization cannot take place without peace and security, it is therefore not by accident that the first pillar of this strategy is the security and human rights pillar which cuts across all the others.
“The transition from military presence in the affected areas to that of the civil police as well as the roles of the civilian joint task force is central to the success or otherwise of the strategy,” he stated.
He disclosed that the plan when validated would provide necessary funding opportunities for the implementation from international donor agencies.
Minister of Water Resources and Chairman of the council of ministers of LCBC, Suleiman Adamu, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Dr Musa Ibrahim, expressed confidence in the socio-economic advantage of the stabilization strategy, stating that it would return the affected communities to normalcy.
The representative of UNDP – a major development partner of the LCBC, Edward Kallon, commended the regional long term approach to effectively addressing the factors that contributed to the emergence of Boko Haram, while restating their commitment to the peace and stability of the Lake Chad region.