Ambassador Mamman Nuhu is the Executive Secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, which oversees natural resource use in the region. He is also Head of Mission of the Multinational Joint Task Force, which is made up of military units from Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria and is tasked with ending the Boko Haram insurgency. He spoke with Africa Renewal's Kingsley Ighobor about the situation on the ground.
On environmental challenges: We are losing a lot of plant life and animals, including fish species. Farmers, herders and fishermen have lost their livelihoods. It's a real crisis for us.
On defeating Boko Haram: We have made progress. Some territories have been recovered, and now Boko Haram is only in a few places around Lake Chad, but it still has capacity to cause harm. What we need to do as the Multinational Joint Task Force [MJTF], which we are already doing and seeing good results, is to have continuous military operations. Previously, we had operations for a limited period and then there was a lull. Troops from Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Benin constitute the 10,500-strong MJTF.
Progress on addressing humanitarian challenges: The humanitarian challenges are still there. About 10.7 million people need humanitarian assistance. Another 2.4 million people are displaced and are yet to return to their hometowns and villages. We have made some progress. Some of the displaced people in neighbouring countries are returning voluntarily, and we are reintegrating them into their communities. A lot of reconstruction is going on-schools and marketplaces are being rebuilt, and civil authorities are gradually going back to the places that are safe.
On the regional strategy: We have a robust regional stabilisation strategy crafted in 2018 by the Lake Chad Basin Commission, with the assistance of the African Union and the UN Development Programme [UNDP]. It is an all-encompassing approach with nine pillars, including education...