The AU and member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) have signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on Friday in Abuja, to boost the fight against the Boko Haram terrorists.
The agreement was signed at a meeting of Ministers of Defence of member countries of LCBC, comprising Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, and Benin Republic, rounding off a 4-day conference of the commission in Abuja.
The two agreements are on mobilisation of additional support to the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), fighting the terrorists in the basin and Support Implementation Agreement (SIA).
Amb. Smail Chergui, AU’s Commissioner for Peace and Security, signed on behalf of the union, while Mr Sanusi Abdullahi, Executive Secretary and Head of Mission of the MNJTF, signed for the LCBC.
The agreement will enable the AU commission to receive funds from international partners on behalf of member countries of the LCBC and administer same in support of the multinational joint task force.
Chergui commended member countries of the LCBC for their determination in combating the Boko Haram terrorists in the region.
“This regional initiative is a true reflection of our collective effort for attaining sustainable peace and stability on the continent, using African resources as the primary means for intervention.
“As a result, significant progress has been made toward enabling it (MNJTS) to effectively carry out offensive operations against the Boko Haram terrorist group.
“Further to this success, the group has been disorganised and has lost the ability to hold territory,’’ the commissioner said.
Chergui also commended Nigeria for its role in the fight against the insurgents, saying that it had made huge financial contributions.
“This has enabled several key activities to take place to date, including the establishment of the MNJTF headquarters and its temporal site and sector headquarters, including the sustenance of its forces,’’ he said
While also acknowledging the support of the international partners, the commissioner noted that in 2016, they contributed 31.67 Euros of the 50 million Euros they had pledged.
“The United Kingdom has also provided five million pounds bulk of which is being used to execute various aspects of support to the MNJTF.
“The funds have enabled the AU to procure and deliver vehicles, motorcycles, electrical generators and IT equipment, internet services and disbursement for operating costs and salaries for both international and local staff supporting the MNJTF headquarters,’’ he said.