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Press Statement of the 500th meeting of the Peace and Security Council on the issue of the Boko Haram terrorist group

By African Union Commission (AUC)
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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, April 29, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 500th meeting held on 27 April 2015, was briefed on the issue of the Boko Haram terrorist group and follow-up to the relevant communiqués of Council on the matter. Council also listened to the statements made by the representatives of Benin, Cameroon and Nigeria, as members of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), as well as by the United Nations (UN) Secretariat, the European Union (EU), France, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, in their capacity as members of the UN Security Council.

Council recalled its earlier pronouncements on the situation, in particular communiqués PSC/AHG/COMM.2(CDLXXXIV) and PSC/PR/COMM.CDLXXXIX)-Rev.1, adopted by Council at its 484th and 489th meetings held on 29 January and 3 March 2015, authorizing the deployment of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) established by the Member States of the LCBC and Benin, endorsing the MNJTF Concept of Operations (CONOPS) and welcoming the steps taken to develop the operational level CONOPS for the MNJTF.

Council noted with satisfaction the progress made on the ground in neutralizing the Boko Haram terrorist group, in particular the continued recovery of locations previously controlled by this group. Council commended the countries of the region for their efforts and commitment.

Council stressed that, while the Boko Haram terrorist group is being weakened on the ground, it continues nonetheless to pose a serious threat to regional peace and security, as demonstrated by the attacks carried out recently by the group, including in Northern Nigeria and against a Niger military position on the Island of Karamga, on Lake Chad. Council strongly condemned these attacks, and reiterated its solidarity with the countries of the region and full support to their efforts.

Council took note of the steps being taken in follow-up to its relevant decisions, as contained in communiqué PSC/PR/COMM(CDLXXXIX). In this respect, Council encouraged the Commission to pursue the efforts being made to assist in the operationalization of the MNJTF Headquarters in Ndjamena, and facilitate the mobilization and provision of the required support, including the early dispatch of an assessment team to Ndjamena for further consultations with the LCBC Secretariat. Council also took note of the efforts made by the African members of the UN Security Council (A3), under the coordination of Chad, towards the adoption of a resolution endorsing the deployment of the MNJTF and authorizing the establishment of the required support mechanisms. Council agreed to review this matter in due course, on the basis of the recommendations made by the A3.

Council noted with satisfaction the pledge by Nigeria to contribute 100 million dollars to the fight against Boko Haram within the framework of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and recalled the earlier pledge by the Extraordinary Summit of the Peace and Security Council (COPAX) of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), held in Yaoundé, Cameroon, on 16 February 2015, to provide a financial assistance of up to 50 billion CFA, as well as a logistical support, to Cameroon and Chad. Council encouraged the other Member States to support the efforts of the countries of the region. Council also welcomed the contribution made by the United Kingdom, as well as the on-going discussions between the AU and the EU, towards the provision of funding in support of the MNJTF, within the framework of the Africa Peace Facility (APF).

Council encouraged the humanitarian agencies to continue to provide support to the affected populations. Council also reiterated the need to complement the on-going military and security efforts with sustained development, educational human rights promotion programmes, in order to ensure lasting stability in the affected areas.