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Joint Communiqué by Federica Mogherini, EU High Representative/Vice-President of the Commission; Neven Mimica, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development; and Smail Chergui, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security

By European Union
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We have signed today an agreement on €50 million support from the EU's "African Peace Facility" to the 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. This agreement comes at a time of renewed efforts by the member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) 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.

We commend the countries of the region for the progress made over the past months in ensuring a coordinated regional response through the MNJTF . The agreement we have signed today will further strengthen the regional coordination of the response.

Our support will allow for the construction and maintenance of MNJTF headquarters in Ndjamena as well as of sector Headquarters in Cameroon and Niger. We will also provide transport and communication assets to the force headquarters, allowing for effective coordination and command of military operations. These assets, including vehicles, aerial transportation and reconnaissance capacities and a command, control, communication and information system, will put the central command in a position to co-ordinate operations among troop contributing countries in their respective territories. The scope is to prevent Boko Haram's ability to move across borders when fighting uncoordinated bilateral operations.

We reiterate our strong mutual engagement to contribute to restore a safe and secure environment to the civilian population in the areas affected by Boko Haram and other terrorist groups. Boko Haram attacks against the population have severely affected the North-east of Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger. More than 13,000 have been killed, 2.5 million people have been internally displaced, and an estimated 250 000 people fled to neighboring countries. The escalation of violence has disrupted regional agricultural production and unsettled local markets, causing increasing malnutrition.

Background

In the context of the Africa-EU partnership, following the donor conference organized by African Union Commission early February 2016, the European Commission adopted in April 2016 a financing decision setting aside €50 million from the African Peace Facility in support of the MNJTF against Boko Haram.

The European Union established the African Peace Facility (APF) in December 2003 in order to respond to an African request to support its peace and security agenda based on the recognition that peace is a necessary precondition for sustainable development.

Over the years, the APF has become one of the key instruments for implementing the Africa-EU cooperation on Peace and Security. More than €2 billion has been allocated to the APF since its inception. A total amount of €1.7 billion has been contracted and almost €1.6 billion have been paid through this instrument until the end of 2015. This support enables the African Union (AU) and the African Regional Economic Communities/Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs) to strengthen their respective roles in peace and security, take responsibility for the stability of the continent, and emerge as internationally recognised actors in the political and security arenas. The strategic orientation of the APF is based on a dual approach, which combines short-term funding for crises as they occur with a longer-term support to institutional Capacity Building in Peace and Security.

In 2015, the APF continued to support the AU and the RECs/RMs having a mandate in Peace and Security. The funded activities fall in three categories:

1. African-led Peace Support Operations (PSOs);

2. Operationalization of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA);

3. Initiatives under the Early Response Mechanism (ERM).