The AU should encourage regional efforts to prevent violent extremism in the Lake Chad Basin
Addia Ababa, Ethiopia| BY OMAR S MAHMOOD | ISS TODAY| The 29th African Union (AU) summit that starts this week will no doubt consider the threat of terrorism and how member states, supported by the AU, can respond. In the Lake Chad Basin – now a major conflict zone – the battle against Boko Haram is progressing, albeit at an unsteady pace.
Military reports claim success in clearing rural areas of the extremists, despite a steady (but largely ineffective) stream of suicide attacks in urban locations, and infrequent assaults like the invasion of a Maiduguri neighbourhood this month.
The increased cooperation between the countries of the Lake Chad Basin (Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad) since the election of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has helped turn the tide on a menace that once controlled up to 20 local government areas in north-east Nigeria, and threatened to expand further.
This newfound security cooperation has been evident through the strengthening of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) – comprising the four Lake Chad Basin countries and Benin – to combat Boko Haram militancy, in concert with other national-level initiatives.
Though largely driven by states in the region, the AU has supported the MNJTF, and should consider how to further enhance efforts.
— ISS (@issafrica) June 27, 2017