NEW YORK, MARCH 3 – “Four countries, one week: one of the largest mission of the UN Security Council, in a region where there are several threats to the international security”. The Italian Deputy Permanent Representative Inigo Lambertini’s words summarize the goals of the Council members’ mission to Lake Chad, a war-torn region where Boko Haram has sparked international outrage. The extremist group has committed widespread atrocities and, among others, carried out mass abductions like the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls in Chibok, Nigeria.
The Lake Chad Region has received less attention than other crisis, and the Security Council wants to increase the international focus on this area. The region is split among four countries: Cameroon, Nigeria, Niger and Chad, all involved in fighting Boko Haram. The terrorist organization has occupied a large portion of the Lake Chad Region, but the improved military cooperation among the four countries that host the region has led Boko Haram to lose much of the territory.
“For Italy – Lambertini said- the involvement in the Lake Chad Region is important for several reasons. The first one is linked with the trafficking issues in a broader sense of the term: human being, drug-related criminal activity. It’s important – added Lambertini – to give assistant to the countries involved, in order to control these phenomena. What’s happening in Lake Chad Region is strictly connected with what’s happening in Sahel and in the Mediterranean. There’s also a humanitarian dimension: we have several Italian NGOs active in the region and also multilateral and bilateral cooperation activities financed by our country”.
Members of the Security Council will visit Cameroon, Nigeria, Niger and Chad to personally check on the regional issues: Boko Haram, climate change, institutional building, the tafficking.
Inigo Lambertini and the Security Council’s delegation met today with Cameroon President Paul Biya, country’s Prime Minister Philémon Yang and other local Ministers. Ambassador Lambertini had previously met with Italian Ambassador to Cameroon Samuela Isopi.
During late February’s ‘Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region’, Italy has pledged 30 Million dollars. “More than 600 Million dollars have been pledged for this humanitarian crisis to show the importance for the international community to reach the pacification of the region. There’s a lot we have to do – said Inigo Lambertini – and the Security Council will go there to check the situation”.
“The humanitarian crisis across north-east Nigeria and parts of Cameroon, Chad and Niger, triggered by the horrendous, violent and inhuman campaign of Boko Haram, is deepening,” said UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien during a brief at the Security Council hold in January. According to UN data, more than 10.7 million people are in need of assistance. Some 2.4 million people are currently displaced. Over 1.5 million are children. (@melonimatteo)