Central Africa: Lake Chad Governors Reaffirm Commitment to Cross-Border Security

Governors from Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad, under the auspices of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), on Wednesday in Niamey restated their commitment to ensuring cross border security and curbing the activities of the Boko Haram.

The governors said this in a communique released after the 2nd Lake Chad governors forum ended on Thursday in Niamey.

This year's meeting of the LCB Governors' Forum was attended by the governors from the Far North and North regions of Cameroon, Hadjer-Lamis and Lac provinces of Chad, Diffa region of Niger, and Adamawa, Borno and Yobe in Nigeria. Also in attendance, was the Governor of Zinder, representatives of the African Union (AU), the United Nations institutions (UN), the Regional Economic Communities, multilateral and bilateral institutions, donor governments, the regional private sector, civil society organisations, traditional and religious leaders.

The meeting was declared open by Brigi Rafini, Prime Minister of the Republic of Niger.

The event, organised by the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), had technical support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), African Union (AU) and the Crisis Management Initiative (CMI).

The governors after the event said they would ensure the full implementation of the resolutions reached at the conference which attracted over 300 participants. They particularly harped on the implementation of the Regional Strategy for the Stabilisation, Recovery and Resilience aimed at curbing the Boko Haram menace.

Key resolutions

The governors said the 'ownership' of the $100 million Regional Stabilisation Facility signed on Wednesday would primarily rest with the affected states.

They also vowed to remain committed to joint efforts towards stabilising, building peace and fostering sustainable development across the Lake Chad Basin.

"We remain firmly committed to enhance cross-border security cooperation in order to facilitate cross border trade, enhance economic recovery and boost livelihoods," the governors said.

They also said the forum would assume its role as a primary mechanism for "cross-border cooperation in the context of the implementation of the RSS (Regional Stabilisation Strategy) and work closely with stakeholders of the Lake Chad Basin for stabilisation efforts".

The governors said they would "continue joint reflection and information-sharing, to enhance cross-border collaboration and mutually benefit from existing good practices in the region".

The officials also committed themselves to the design and implementation of the Territorial Action Plans (TAPs), aimed at harmonising each nation's development plans, and to periodically monitor the progress achieved.

The governors said they would ensure the rehabilitation and reintegration of victims of the Boko Haram insurgency and intensify regional peace building efforts and measures to enhance social cohesion.

They said they would continue to engage the civil society, including traditional and religious leaders, in stabilisation initiatives, and report progress made on 'regional priorities' during the next meeting of the LCB Governors' Forum.

They also said the forum's meeting would hold at least once a year and maintain frequent communication with stakeholders.

Cameroon to host 2020 forum

Meanwhile, Cameroon has been picked to host the forum next year.

This was disclosed by Manga Titus, who represented the governor of extreme north, Cameroon at the Niamey meeting which formally ended on Thursday.

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