Government & Politics

UNSC delegation ends Lake Chad Basin visit; pledges support for fighting Boko Haram

Abuja (IINA) � Wrapping up its four-country tour in Africa's Lake Chad Basin on Monday, the UN Security Council delegation pledged long-term support for the governments and the people of the region in their fight against Boko Haram.

The crisis in the Lake Chad Basin region is of global concern and action is needed right now, the Council said in a statement carried by UN News.

Neither the military fight against terrorism nor the immediate humanitarian response will solve these protracted crises, UK Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, who is leading the delegation as president of the Council for March, told journalists in the Nigerian capital of Abuja.

What is needed in the end is long-term development, Rycroft said, noting the need for jobs, education, human rights, services for displaced people and refugees, and solutions for coping with drought and other environmental challenges.

"Those are multifaceted, complex set of problems and require a holistic set of solutions, and we are here to support the government of Nigeria in finding those solutions, he added.

On Sunday, the Council members met with internally displaced persons in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, in Nigeria's northeast, known since 2009 as the epicenter of the Boko Haram insurgency. About half of the displaced persons living in the camp are children, with 379 of them infants.

Some 14 million people are affected by Boko Haram, with 8.5 million people in urgent need of humanitarian aid, according to the statement.

While in Nigeria, the Council members also met with women's groups from across the country who called for a greater role in finding solutions to the Lake Chad Basin crisis. They also met with Nigeria's acting President Yemi Osinbajo and other senior political leaders.

Further, the delegation held discussions with members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) - a regional group of 16 countries. The discussions between the two sides focused on coordination of response and sharing of information.

After visiting Nigeria, and previously being in Cameroon, Chad and Niger, the Council emphasized that barely enough is being done to aid the crisis in the Lake Chad Basin.

The scale we have seen is of a growing crisis. Famine is being averted at the moment because of the generosity of donors and the effectiveness of the national responses � but only just, Ambassador Rycroft said, adding: We urge the international community as a whole to continue to step up before it is too late. And that means right now.

Source: Intenational Islamic News Agency