Promoting economic development in the Lake Chad Basin regions would help create stability in the lives of victims of insurgency, a top ranking African Union official said on Monday.
Amb. Hadiza Mustapha, Special Advisor to the African Union Chairperson on Peace, Security and Governance, said there was need to go beyond winning the war against insurgency and ensure that returnees were properly stabilised and reintegrated into the society.
“We will make sure that the people coming back have something to do otherwise it will be like a circle and people will go back again.
“We have come to the realisation that we have to adopt a three-pronged approach – the political, security and military, and most importantly economic development.
“We will continue to operationalise a strategy and this strategy would address human security.
“This strategy which is the Regional Stabilisation Strategy (RSS) that we are talking about can be used for development, trans-border cooperation between countries where we can open up opportunities for our people because that is the only way you can sustain peace.
“The people, who are displaced, people who are refugees when they come back to their base they need something to do and when there is nothing to do that is when you fine a relapse so they need to stabilise, but most importantly they need to be transformed,’’ she said.
She, however, said that one of the important issues was how to finance the implementation of the strategy, adding that the political will of the government of the four countries – Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria, and Niger – had been guaranteed.
Mustapha said that the African Union had adopted the strategy in its Peace and Security Council signed National and Regional projects.
She said that Territorial Action Plans (TAPs) have been designed and would be tailored to meet the needs of the various countries involved, adding that Germany and European Union have agreed to support the governors of the Lake Chad Basin.
the second meeting of the Lake Chad Basin regions on Stabilisation, Peace building and Sustainable Development was held in July in Niamey.
The meeting sought to tackle insurgency in the eight affected regions.