The European Union, through its EU “African Peace Facility” has signed a €50 million agreement to support Lake Chad Basin Commission Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) in its fight against Boko Haram as mandated by the African Union Peace and Security Council.
The agreement was contained in a joint Communiqué signed between Federica Mogherini, EU High Representative and Vice President of the Commission; Neven Mimica, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development and Smail Chergui, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security in Brussels on Monday.
According to the agreement, the scope is to prevent Boko Haram’s ability to move across borders when fighting uncoordinated bilateral operations.
Boko Haram attacks against the population have severely affected the North-east of Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger, leaving more than 13,000 killed, 2.5 million people internally displaced, and an estimated 250,000 people fleeing to neighboring countries.
Escalation of Boko Haram violence has disrupted regional agricultural production and unsettled local markets, causing increasing malnutrition.
The agreement comes at a time of renewed efforts by member countries of the Commission and Benin to eliminate the threat posed by the Boko Haram terrorist group and create conditions for the rehabilitation of the affected areas and people.
The EU Commission in the joint communiqué also commended the countries of the region for the progress made over the past months in ensuring a coordinated regional response through the MNJTF and that the agreement will further strengthen the regional coordination of the response.
According to the communiqué, the EU support will allow for the construction and maintenance of MNJTF headquarters in Ndjamena and its Sector Headquarters in Cameroon and Niger as well as provide transport and communication assets to the headquarters of the force, thereby allowing for effective coordination and command of military operations.
The communiqué said these assets, which include vehicles, aerial transportation and reconnaissance capacities and a command, control, communication and information system, will put the central command in a position to coordinate operations among troop contributing countries in their respective territories.