[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]WELCOME REMARKS BY THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF THE LAKE CHAD BASIN COMMISSION AT THE WORKSHOP ON REGIONAL STRATEGY FOR THE SCREENING, PROSECUTION AND REINTEGRATION OF BOKO HARAM ASSOCIATED PERSONS IN THE LAKE CHAD BASIN COUNTRIES, N’DJAMENA, 10-13 APRIL 2018

On behalf of the organizers of this workshop: the Lake Chad Basin Commission, the African Union Commission and our sponsors, I have the pleasure to welcome you all to the workshop entitled Towards a Regional Strategy for the Screening, Prosecution and Reintegration of Boko Haram Associated Persons in the Lake Chad Basin Countries.

I particularly want to extend a warm welcome to our guest of honour, the Hon. Minister who has set aside her ever busy schedule to honour our invitation. Hon. Minister we are glad to have you among us this morning.

It is my singular honour and privilege to welcome the presence of our esteemed partners, who are not only sponsoring this workshop, but are hopefully, ready to support the entire stabilization efforts of the affected countries.

I would like to extend a sincere welcome to all of you who have travelled from far and near to participate in this meeting. The fact that you have spared the time to travel these long distances to be here with us underscores the importance you attach to the goals of the workshop.

With permission of the Hon. Minister, I would also like to assure you that the city of N’Djamena welcomes you with the warmth and fervor which she accords to the homecoming of her own sons and daughters, among whom you are now numbered by adoption during the next few days of this meeting. You should therefore feel free to explore the city.

A glance at the title of the workshop and its agenda show that you have not only a heavy task before you but also a great responsibility. Many eyes are on you for the next three days of the workshop. We therefore wish you very successful deliberations.

The shrinking of the Lake Chad and the consequent loss of the means of livelihood of millions of people who depend on it for their subsistence and the humanitarian crisis generated by the activities of Boko Haram terrorists have created enormous challenges for the affected countries and indeed the international community at large.

With the successes recorded by the MNJTF and the national operations of the four affected countries, most of the territories previously occupied by the terrorists have now been liberated. This has enabled access to hitherto inaccessible communities thereby exposing the huge humanitarian crisis that we are facing today. We now have to urgently address the stabilization challenges before us to bring succor to the affected people.

The expectations are high. We cannot afford not to get it right because the consequences are enormous for the region.

The returning young ex-combatants are like ‘lost generation’. Throughout the period of their insurgency, they had no access to education, employment and training. They depended on weapons and violence as the only means to make their way to the top and earn some respect.

As they are demobilized, they lose their military livelihood. Many of them are likely to experience difficulties in adapting to civilian life. From making a living by the gun, they will have to enter the labor market and compete with ordinary civilians for extremely scarce jobs. They might, alternatively, devise other ways of making a living.

Male ex-combatants may engage in anti-social behavior within their families and communities (rape, armed robbery, drugs etc); women who were associated with the fighting forces, whether voluntarily or by force, may find reintegration difficult due to stigmatization; while children may find themselves abandoned, rejected, incapable of making a living and care for themselves.

Many of these associated persons may be easily re-recruited into the next phase of the armed conflict; a conflict in another country or criminal gangs. This is why the DDRR programme can not afford to fail, because the consequences of the failure are obvious.

But there is no one size fit all solution to DDRRR challenges. The experiences vary from region to region, from country to country, from community to community and indeed from culture to culture. I therefore strongly recommend that we listen to the experts from the affected countries. They come with practical experiences. They are therefore well placed to know what works and what does not work in their respective countries.

With these few words, let me once again welcome all of you to this workshop. I wish you very rewarding discussions.[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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