Zagazola - MNJTF unable to scale up operations due to inadequate funding- Amb. Nuhu

MNJTF unable to scale up operations due to inadequate funding- Amb. Nuhu

Zagazola Makama

The Multi National Joint Task Force  is unable to sustain large-scale operations against the Islamic State of the West African Province(ISWAP), due to  inadequate, inconsistent, and insufficient funding.

Amb. Mamman Nuhu, Executive Secretary, Lake Chad Basin Commission and Head of Mission, of the MNJTF), made this known  on Wednesday at the 4th Lake Chad Governor’s Forum  meeting in N’Djamena, Chad.

The MNJTF  was reactivated in late 2014 by the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) as a regional security arrangement to fight the spreading threat of Boko Haram (BH) in the region. 

The African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council  (PSC) authorized the operationalisation of the Force´s mandate in early 2015 and has renewed its mandate on a yearly basis since then. 

The force comprises of is composed of troops from its five Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs), namely Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and a smaller contingent from Benin.

“We are experiencing inadequate funding and operational equipment to conduct effective and safe operations.

“Funding for the force is not readily available from contributing countries and partners  due to the economic downtown across the world as a result of the COVID-19 and now Russia and Ukraine which is significantly hindering the effectiveness of the force “ he said.

He said that inspite of the challenges, the MNJTF had recorded tremendous successes in their efforts toward restoring total sanity and security in the Lake Chad regions.

“The Lake Chad Basin is facing the growing threat of climate change, which is impacting the surface area of the lake, and the Boko Haram insurgency, which has triggered a wave of violence and instability throughout the region. 

“These urgent issues must be addressed locally, regionally, and globally to strengthen community resilience and pathways for sustainable living. 

“There can be no better moment than now to enhance stakeholders’ understanding of the emerging security trends in the Basin and scale up collective efforts towards the stabilization of the region.

“The Fourth Lake Chad Basin Governors’ Forum for Regional Cooperation on Stabilization, Peacebuilding, and Sustainable Development, therefore, offers a space for actors to strengthen support and efforts to intensify regional stabilization and humanitarian and development initiatives for scaled-up results.

Since the previous Governors’ Forum in October 2021 in Yaoundé, Cameroon, the implementation of the Regional Stabilization Strategy has recorded extensive achievements, including significant progress in community recovery, the return of over half a million internally displaced persons, and the revitalisation of the local economy.

“Communities like Ngarannam and Bank in Born State, Nigeria, and Amchide in Cameroon, among others, provide examples of long-term solutions for sustainable development.

“Despite our accomplishments and progress owing to the cooperation of our partners, including Lake Chad Basin states, the African Union, United Nations Entities, regional economic communities, and our multilateral and bilateral partners, more efforts are needed to ensure the adequate development of the region. 

“The moment has come for a reinvigorated and sustained reaction to help the region’s transition from insecurity to recovery. We have put in so much work that we need to explore more ways to improve on the significance,”he said.

The meeting which has the theme: `New Opportunities for Peace in a Shifting Security Context’,  stands out as a genuine initiative to promote regional dialogue and draw lessons on cross-cutting transnational challenges.

It is also an opportunity to coordinate joint actions and solutions to challenges affecting territories around the Lake Chad Basin.

Eight Governors attending the forum’s fourth meeting are expected to strengthen ownership of key priority areas, including the emerging security trends in the region and implications of ongoing efforts to complete the restoration of state authority in the region.