UN Deputy Secretary-General, Ms Amina Mohammed has said the areas of Lake Chad Basin that have been freed from the grip of Boko Haram must be manned by security operative.
Mohammed, in an address to the Security Council yesterday, also called for efforts to rebuild the lives of women and girls that had suffered in the hands of the terrorist group.
She said recent joint efforts by the four of the affected countries-Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger – had resulted in “considerable progress” in the fight against the extremists.
Mohammed, speaking via video conference from Liberia where she participated in celebrations to mark the end of the UN peacekeeping mission, noted the liberation of hostages as well as territorial gains.
However, she reported that Boko Haram had stepped up the use of women and girls as suicide bombings.
“It is now key to stabilise the areas that have been reclaimed, and that we seize the opportunity to really promote sustainable development,” she said.
Mohamed was joined by Mohammed Bila, a representative of the Lake Chad Basin Commission based in N’Djamena, and Senior Conflict Adviser at Adelphi, Chitra Nagarajan.
They painted a picture of the factors behind people’s suffering in the Lake Chad Basin and driving some to terrorism one year after the Council adopted its first resolution on the activities of Boko Haram in the region.
Mohammed stressed the need to incorporate human rights and gender dimensions into activities aimed at countering terrorism or preventing violent extremism.
She said the increase in Boko Haram’s use of women and girls as suicide bombers could be due to lack of women security officers who could search other women at checkpoints.
The UN deputy scribe also called for more international action to support children affected by the upheaval in the region.