Eight governors of the Lake Chad basin met on Monday in Yaoundé, Cameroon, to discuss the insurgency and regional security cooperation.
Organized by the Lake Chad Basin Commission, with technical support from the African Union, the United Nations Development Program and the Crisis Management Initiative, the meeting was hosted by the Cameroonian government in collaboration with the Lake Chad Governors Forum.
Six governors – including Babagana Umara Zulum from Borno, Nigeria, Issa Lamine from Diffa in the Republic of Niger, Midjiyawa Bakari from the Far North of Cameroon, Abate Edii Jean from the North region of Cameroon, Mahamat Fadoul Mackaye from the province of Lac du Tchad and Amina Kodjyana Agnes- Hadjer Lami also from Chad – attended the meeting, while the governors of Adamawa and Yobe states in northeast Nigeria were represented.
A statement issued by Zulum’s special advisor Malam Isa Gusau said the meeting, which was declared open by Cameroonian Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute, accompanied by Younde Mayor Luc Messi Atangana, discussed the security issues with a focus on terrorist attacks and humanitarian impacts in the region.
The meeting also reviewed the implementation of regional stabilization strategies, which were adopted in 2019, at a similar meeting in Niamey, Republic of Niger.
According to the statement, Zulum, in his contributions, called for the need to significantly increase the level of cross-border security cooperation before strategic and territorial action plans can work.
“All of these territorial action plans can never be achievable without security, the first thing we need across the region is to address security issues, especially on the shores of Lake Chad.”
“It is necessary to undertake comprehensive security operations on the shores of Lake Chad in order to eliminate the insurgents, otherwise we will not go anywhere,” Zulum said.
The governor expressed his great concern at the non-use of the shores of the Lake Chad basin which can offer enormous economic potential to the region.
The government in Borno, he said, is working to establish free trade zones in the town of Banki, Bama LGA, Gamboru in Ngala, Baga in Kukawa and Damasak in Mobbar LGA, in order to strengthen the socio-economic activities in the Lake Chad region in accordance with territorial action plans. for stabilization.
The governor called on member states to engage in identifying and addressing the root causes of the insurgency in the region and to combine measures other than military operations.
Zulum also raised issues of deradicalization of people previously associated with the insurgency in which he highlighted measures for youth engagement, through education, skills training and social development programs.