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Lake Chad Basin Governors’ Forum to explore peace, regional stability

Lake Chad Basin Governors’ Forum is to hold its second meeting in Niamey, Niger with a view to ensuring stability, peace, and sustainable development in the region affected by activities of Boko Haram.

Lake Chad
Scientists say the Lake Chad, that borders Nigeria and some other countries, has shrunken by 95 percent over the past 50 years. They have also linked the Boko Haram insurgency to the lake’s situation. Photo credit: AP/Christophe Ena

The meeting, which will hold from July 16 to July 18, 2019, is being organised by the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) with technical support from the African Union (AU), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Crisis   Management Initiative (CMI).

At the inaugural meeting of the forum in Maiduguri on May 8 to 9, 2018, nine governors from Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria convened with more than 150 stakeholders representing national institutions, multilateral and bilateral partners, as well as the civil society from the region.

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Kashim Shettima, the then governor of Borno state hosted the inaugural meeting of the forum.

Next week’s meeting is expected to provide the governors and stakeholders the opportunity to re-strategise and to come up with fresh recommendations on how to implement the Territorial Action Plans (TAPs).

Stakeholders are also expected to discuss ways to shape policy towards forging a common approach to ensuring stability in the Lake Chad Basin region.

The meeting will also seek to prevent further crises in the region and make significant contribution to developing regional response to the challenges being experienced in the area as called for in the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2349 (2017).

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Furthermore, the meeting in Niamey is expected to strengthen joint efforts and coordination toward resolving the crisis in the region through the promotion of cross-border dialogue, cooperation, and exchange as well as support ongoing national, regional, and multilateral efforts toward ensuring stability in the Lake Chad Basin.

The forum is also expected to consider the extent of implementation of the recommendations made at its inaugural meeting in Maiduguri.

Some of the recommendations were to:

  • Support the process of jointly developing a regional reintegration strategy with action plans at the state/region level.
  • Establish and ensure harmonisation of National Action Plans for the reintegration of the Lake Chad Basin countries, including reliable judicial procedures with respect for human rights.
  • Build capacities of state institutions responsible for reintegration.
  • Engage the public in the reintegration process and prepare them through significant investments in dialogue and sensitisation efforts, and
  • Prioritise the engagement of youth and women in reintegration efforts to ensure their active role in the reintegration process.
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By Uche Bibilari

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