…Highlights management of mass surrenders by terrorists in Borno
by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
A conference, tagged “Lake Chad Basin: Key Steps Towards Comprehensive Regional Solutions” with focus on how to effectively manage mass surrenders by Boko Haram and ISWAP fighters through Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR), is taking place at Wilton Park, located at Winston House in Sussex, United Kingdom.
Among participants at the conference is Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, who has addressed multinationals from Lake Chad countries and development partners from the UK and other countries at the ongoing conference being hosted by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
The conference has participants drawn from the military, managers of violent extremist groups, political leaders, the academia, humanitarian and development partners, diplomats, communication persons, and post-conflict management experts from the UK and other developed countries as well as countries in the Lake Chad: Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon.
Our correspondent reports that, the conference began on Monday and it was facilitated through the Lake Chad Basin Regional Strategy for Stabilization Recovery and Resilience, which provides framework for conflict interventions by development partners.
Governor Zulum (on the second day), while delivering his speech, spoke on the topic, titled, ‘Insurgency, Recovery, and Rebuilding Borno State: My aspirations for Borno State and Lake Chad Region,’ and gave a detailed overview, which highlighted impacts of the insurgency in Borno in terms of infrastructure destructions, displacements, humanitarian crisis and resettlement efforts.
Governor Zulum detailed the State’s immediate, short and long-term plans for stabilization and development as well as how the State is responding to the mass surrender of over 35,000 repentant fighters from Boko Haram and ISWAP.
He also discussed recent efforts by the Nigerian Government with President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of a Presidential committee on repatriation, return and resettlement of displaced persons in the North-East, which has been tasked with resettling IDPs, supporting successful repatriation of over 190,000 Nigerian refugees, and managing mass surrender of insurgents.
Other speakers from different countries shared experiences and knowledge peculiar to communities in countries of the Lake Chad.
The conference is scheduled to end on this Wednesday afternoon, with “key takeaways and next steps” to be reached for considerable implementation by stakeholders towards stabilizing communities affected in Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon.
The governor was at the conference alongside the State’s Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Zuwaira Gambo, and the Special Adviser on Security, Brigadier-General Abdullahi Ishaq, both of whom have been playing leading roles in managing Borno’s responses to the mass surrender of Boko Haram and ISWAP fighters. Both officials made useful contributions at the conference.