The African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC), has commended the operational efforts of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) and approved its renewed mandate for another period of 12 months.
The Chief of Military Public Information, Col. Muhammad Dole, in a statement on Friday in N’Djamena, Chad, said the renewed mandate takes effect from Feb. 1.
Dole said the AUPSC considered the report on MNJTF and decided to renew its mandates at its 1057th virtual meeting held on Jan. 14 in a reminiscence of the activities of the Force against the BHT/ISWAP terrorists.
He said members of the council, chairpersons of ECOWAS and ECCAS, the Head of Mission, MNJTF, Amb. Mamman Nuhu, and the Force Commander, MNJTF, Maj.-Gen. Abdul-Khalifa Ibrahim, extensively deliberated on the progress and challenges of the force at the meeting.
According to him, the council noted with appreciation and commended the significant recorded progress and display of commitment by the Force in fighting the insurgents.
“They applauded the dedication and determination of the troops towards degrading the operational capability of the BHT/ISWAP terrorists in the region.
“The Council equally paid tribute to the soldiers and civilians that have paid the ultimate price and expressed heartfelt condolences to the families and Governments of those that have lost their lives in the course of the fight against terror,” he said.
Dole said that AUPSC condemned the obnoxious activities of the terrorists against civilians and troops that had exacerbated serious humanitarian crisis in the Lake Chad region.
He said the council reiterated its resolve to mobilise adequate resources and support for the MNJTF to enhance its professional capabilities in combating the menace of the insurgency.
MNJTF spokesperson said the AU repeated its appeals to members states, other strategic partners and the international community to redouble their humanitarian support to the affected communities to enable them safely resettle in their ancestral home.
He said the appeal is in recognition and appreciation of the tremendous support of the European Union (EU) to the MNJTF.
According to him, the AU commission assured the MNJTF of its necessary support to enable it consolidate on the recorded operational successes against the BHT/ISWAP terrorists and violent extremism in the Lake Chad region.
He said the commission added that the support would heighten its efforts to supporting the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) to deepen the partnership with ECOWAS, ECCAS, relevant regional institutions and NGOs.
According to him, the transformation of MNJTF into a formidable force commenced in 2014, when Boko Haram terrorists scaled up their nefarious activities leading to the wanton destruction of lives and properties of the communities in the Lake Chad Basin.
“This necessitated the member nations of the LCBC to fall back on the existing security framework of the MNJTF.
“Accordingly, at its 484th Meeting of Heads of States and Governments held in Addis Ababa on Jan. 29, 2015, the AUPSC decided to support the efforts of the LCBC member states and Benin through an authorisation of the deployment of the MNJTF.
“Thus, the MNJTF was remodeled and re-operationalized with an increased capacity of about 10,000 troops and its new Headquarters located in N’Djamena, Chad.
“The MNJTF was then mandated among others to ‘create a safe and secure environment in the areas affected by the activities of Boko Haram and other terrorist groups, in order to significantly reduce violence against civilians and other abuses.
“The Force started operations on July 30, 2015, with Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria as troops contributing countries,” he said. (NAN)
•PHOTO: The Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF)