Relationale for the conference

The 639th and 680th Communiqués of the AU PSC on Boko Haram (29 November 2016 and 18 April 2017 respectively), noted the progress made by MNJTF in the fight against the terrorist group, and acknowledged the opportunities that the significant degradation of Boko Haram present for medium to long-term recovery and stabilization efforts in the Lake Chad Basin. This was also reflected in the report of the meeting of the Council of Ministers of the LCBC countries and Benin on 24 February 2017, which noted “the need to develop strategies for handling the post-operation era” (Para. 15 of the report). Further to this, the UNSC Resolution 2349 (2017) underscores the multifaceted intervention that the Lake Chad region requires, particularly in transitioning from a zone of active military response to addressing underlying drivers and motives of armed groups in the region.
It is therefore crucial to ensure that stabilization efforts are anchored on a clearly thought out strategy that reflects the community, national and regional levels. The envisaged three-layered inclusive and participatory approach would contribute to ensuring that the strategy is comprehensive, and that there is coherence between and among the various actors involved in stabilization efforts in the region. How to address issues of Disarmament, and Reintegration of surrendered fighters, the (re)deployment of local and regional administration; the restoration of Rule of Law and local justice systems, and reconciliation would constitute the main strands of the envisaged Regional Strategy. The presence of foreign fighters among the ranks of Boko Haram poses a new challenge with a direct impact on the immediate security environment and medium to long-term stabilization efforts.
 

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