The Special Advisor to the African Union, AU, Chairperson on Peace, Security and Governance, Hadiza Mustapha has said that promoting economic development in the Lake Chad Basin regions would help create stability in the lives of victims of insurgency.
Speaking in an interview on Monday, Mustapha 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.
“African Union have launched the peace fund which is fund that will be given to countries to build capacity for prevention because prevention is cheaper , that is why AU have come up with this project which is silences the gun in 2020.
“We also have this Agenda 2063; that is a developmental agenda where African continental free trade is one of the flagships, all of this is to ensure that human security is paramount and the focus is on human security.
“With this, definitely the young ones cannot be deceived to go out in search of greener pasture in other countries,’’ she added.
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.