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Zulum, Lake Chad basin governors meet in Cameroon over regional security

Zulum, Lake Chad basin governors meet in Cameroon over regional security
October 05
11:27 2021

Babagana Zulum, governor of Borno state, on Monday met with his counterparts from the Lake Chad basin countries to discuss regional security.

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The meeting which was held in Yaoundé, Cameroon, had in attendance six governors from the basin countries of Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic.

While governors of Yobe and Adamawa states were represented, Zulum was in attendance alongside Issa Lamine of Diffa in Niger Republic; Midjiyawa Bakari of Far North of Cameroon; Abate Edii Jean from North Region of Cameroon; Mahamat Fadoul Mackaye from Lac Province of Chad and Amina Kodjyana Agnes – Hadjer Lami also from Chad.

The meeting which was organised by the Lake Chad Basin Commission, with technical support from the African Union, United Nations Development Programme and the Crisis Management Initiative, was hosted by the Cameroonian government in collaboration with the Lake Chad Governors’ Forum.

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The meeting was declared open by the Joseph Dion Ngute, Cameroonian prime minister who was accompanied by Luc Messi Atangana, the mayor of Yaoundé.

The governors discussed security issues with focus on terror attacks and humanitarian impacts in the region.

The meeting also reviewed implementation of strategies for regional stabilization, which were adopted in 2019, during a similar meeting in Niamey, Niger Republic.

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In his contributions, Zulum tabled Borno’s position, calling on the need to raise the level of trans-border cooperation on security before strategic and territorial action plans can work.

“All these territorial action plans can never be feasible without security, the first thing that we need in the entire region is to address security issues. Especially in the shores of Lake Chad,” he said.

“It is necessary to undertake holistic security operations in the shores of Lake Chad in order to clear the insurgents, otherwise, we are not going anywhere.”

Zulum also expressed great concern over the non-utilisation of Lake Chad Basin’s shore which he said can provide huge economic potential that would benefit the people of the region.

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He said the Borno government is making effort towards establishing free trade zones in Banki town Bama LGA, Gamboru in Ngala, Baga in Kukawa and Damasak in Mobbar LGA to enhance socio-economic activities within the Lake region in line with territorial action plans for stabilisation.

The governor called on member states to engage in identifying and addressing root causes of Boko Haram crisis, and combine measures other than military operations.

Zulum listed education, skills acquisition and social development programmes as measures to engaging de-radicalised Boko Haram members.

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