Security Council Visit to the Lake Chad Basin
France, Senegal and the United Kingdom agreed to conduct a joint visit of the 15 Ambassadors of the Security Council to the four countries of the Lake Chad Basin region. This is the first time that the Security Council will visit the region.
1 to 7 March 2017: Visit of the Security Council to the Lake Chad Basin
At the initiative of France, Senegal and the United Kingdom, Ambassadors of the Security Council will conduct their first visit to the countries of the Lake Chad region.
Through this visit, the Security Council wishes to give its full support to the four countries affected by Boko Haram’s terrorism and facing a very serious humanitarian crisis: Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
The terrorist group Boko Haram, although weakened, continues to lead targeted and murderous attacks in the region. The crisis caused by Boko Haram and other terrorist armed groups creates enormous humanitarian needs.
The Security Council intends to continue its efforts to find a lasting solution to this security and humanitarian crisis.
While Boko Haram is a major threat, countries in the Lake Chad region also face many other crisis factors: armed conflict, terrorism, extreme poverty, climate change, drought, governance.
This "multicrisis" environment favors an alarming humanitarian situation.
According to the UN, 26 million people are affected by these crises in the four countries and 10.7 million are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance. Many people are also displaced or refugees.
Despite substantial efforts by the humanitarian community, a great amount of people are still in urgent need of assistance and access to populations is still insufficient.
This visit will allow the Security Council to carry three main messages:
- Encourage the States in the region to further strengthen their military cooperation in the fight against Boko Haram’s terrorism, in particular through the Multinational Joint Task Force against Boko Haram ;
- Encourage the Governments in the region to continue to facilitate access to humanitarian assistance for the most vulnerable populations, including refugees and displaced persons. In fact, this visit takes place one week after the Oslo Humanitarian Aid Conference that raised US $672 millions (458 millions for 2017 and 214 millions for 2018) for the four countries of the Lake Chad basin.
- Finally, the Council will also encourage States in the region to adopt a comprehensive approach to dealing with the root causes of terrorism, including governance and development. This approach requires the commitment of all actors involved: Governments and governmental authorities, NGOs, the civil society and other actors that can play an important role in resolving the crises. The Security Council will hold talks with all these actors.
3. For France, this visit is part of a long-standing commitment to support the countries of the region
France made an early commitment to support the States bordering the Lake Chad in their fight against terrorism.
At the political level, President Hollande organized and chaired in Paris, in May 2014, the first ever conference on the subject. This conference was particularly important because it allowed to define the framework for a joint action for the fight against terrorism in the region.
On the ground, the French armed forces of Operation Barkhane provide logistical and intelligence support to the States’ partnering armed forces in the region.
In terms of humanitarian aid, in 2016, France provided more than €13.5 million in assistance to the four countries in the Lake Chad basin, including more than €9 million for victims of Boko Haram’s terrorism . This effort will be maintained over the coming year.
Finally, the articulation of humanitarian assistance with development in order to provide a lasting response to the crisis is very important to France. For this reason, France launched the "Lake Chad Initiative": worth €35 million, this important initiative carried out by the French Development Agency aims at the economic recovery of the region and the creation of jobs, especially for the youth, Boko Haram’s first target.