Minister of Interior, Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd), on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 solicited support of international donors and other stakeholders in alleviating humanitarian crisis around countries in Lake Chad Basin.
Dambazau made the appeal at the second Regional Protection Dialogue on Lake Chad Basin in Abuja.
He said that the cooperation of the stakeholders was imperative in ensuring that their efforts at alleviating the crisis in the region yielded positive results.
Earlier, at the meeting, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning and the Ministry of Finance launched a Humanitarian Response Protection Plan.
The Plan is part of concrete measures to solidify efforts to alleviate the crisis in the region.
Dambazau recalled that a Tripartite Agreement among Nigeria, Cameroon and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was signed in March 2017.
He said that the agreement was to facilitate the voluntary return of Nigerian refugees living in Cameroon in a safe and dignified manner, adding that the process for the return of the refugees was ongoing.
“I do not need to tell you that it is not yet ‘Uhuru’ as far as the alleviation of the challenges of the Lake Chad Basin is concerned,” he said.
The minister noted that security in the basin had remained a challenge in spite of the efforts of the joint military forces of countries in the basin.
“In spite of the huge breakthrough achieved in the fight against the insurgents by efforts of our joint military forces, security in the Basin has remained a challenge, particularly for the displaced population and other vulnerable groups.”
He explained that the aim of the dialogue was for stakeholders to appraise the commitments toward the implementation of outcome of the first meeting.
“It is also to explore broader regional and international support towards comprehensive review of the protection situation in Lake Chad Basin countries.
“It is to reinvigorate consensus around protection considerations and principles as informed by international law and standard norms.
“It is also to propose and seek the adoption of a framework for comprehensive solutions that are in line with international principles,” he said.
The minister added that objective of the meeting was to identify the protection risk in the region resulting from conflict-induced crisis in the Lake Chad Basin and proffer appropriate practical solutions to redress them.
“It is also to provide practical solutions to the plights of the people in and around the Lake Chad region who were turned to refugees and Internally Displaced Persons due to insurgency in the region,’’ he said.
By Doris Esa