The African Union (AU) Commission has condemned the continued attacks and abuses perpetrated by the Boko Haram terrorist group against innocent civilians.
The statement was made by the Peace and Security Council of the 55-member pan-African bloc on Saturday, which followed the Council’s recent meeting that dwelt upon the Report of the AU Commission Chairperson on the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) against the Boko Haram.
“The Council strongly condemns the continued attacks and abuses perpetrated by the Boko Haram terrorist group against innocent civilians which have resulted in the destruction of infrastructure and widespread population displacement and exacerbated the serious humanitarian crisis in the region, and warns that the perpetrators of these attacks shall be brought to justice,” an AU statement issued on Saturday read.
It also expressed “deep concern, once again, over the continued use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) within the MNJTF Area of Operation by Boko Haram in its reconnaissance operations.”
The Council also requested the AU Commission, in coordination with the member states of Lake Chad Basin Region Countries (LCBC) plus Benin, to engage with partners and other relevant stakeholders to explore urgently the possibility of more effectively responding to this threat, as well as curtailing any other form of political, military and financial support to the Boko Haram terrorist group.
It also stressed the need for “full implementation of the Regional Strategy for the Stabilization, Recovery and Resilience of the Boko Haram-affected Areas of the Lake Chad Basin Region, including, as applicable, through the AU Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development Centre, with a view to ensure that development projects are promoted and implemented to alleviate the living conditions of the people in the region.
The Council also encouraged the countries concerned to implement the strategy at the national level.It also expressed deep concern over the humanitarian crisis in the affected areas in the Lake Chad Basin region, which has been accentuated by the effects of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Council also appealed “to all AU member states and the international community to step up humanitarian support to the affected communities; in the same context.” It also called on the member states of the LCBC plus Benin to provide the necessary support to the returnees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), including protection to those who have surrendered from the Boko Haram terrorist group.