Lake Chad Basin governors hold meeting on stability
The 3rd Lake Chad Basin Governors’ Forum (LCBGF) to enhance stabilization efforts in the region opened in Cameroon on Monday.
Eight governors of the Boko Haram-affected areas from Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon in the Lake Chad Basin region are attending the forum in the capital city Yaoundé.
The forum will assess the humanitarian and security development in the Lake Chad Basin, the progress in implementing stabilization interventions, as well as the contribution of civil society to achieving stability in the region, according to officials.
It will also review the state of civil-military and humanitarian cooperation, analyze the opportunities and stakes of cross-border cooperation and examine the various options and solutions for rehabilitating and reintegrating people formerly associated with Boko Haram.
In his contributions, Babagana Zulum, governor of Nigeria’s Borno state, which is the hotbed of Boko Haram terrorists, tabled Borno’s position, calling on the need to raise the level of trans-border cooperation on security before strategic and territorial action plans can work.
“All these territorial action plans can never be feasible without security, the first thing that we need in the entire region is to address security issues. Especially in the shores of Lake Chad,” he said.
“It is necessary to undertake holistic security operations in the shores of Lake Chad in order to clear the insurgents, otherwise, we are not going anywhere.”
Zulum also expressed great concern over the non-utilization of Lake Chad Basin’s shore which he said can provide huge economic potential that would benefit the people of the region.
Hosted by the government of Cameroon, the governors’ forum is organized by the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), with technical support from the African Union, the United Nations Development Programme, and Crisis Management Initiative.
The lake, which borders Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon, has lost 90 percent of its surface area due to poor water management and climate change, according to the United Nations which warned that millions of people need help to avert famine.
The area is also a stronghold for tatkfiri terrorist groups including ISIS in West Africa (ISWAP) and Nigeria’s Boko Haram.
In 2019, the governors and partners launched the Regional Stabilization Facility for Lake Chad, an ambitious multi-million-dollar fund to scale up the range of stabilization interventions in areas of Lake Chad Basin.