Return of Persons Associated with Boko Haram in Chad: Harmonizing the Process Between the Government and Partners
N’Djamena – The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of Chad organized a national workshop on the harmonization of the reception, screening and profiling process for persons associated with Boko Haram from 10 to 12 July in N’Djamena, with the support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Counter Terrorism-Committee Executive Directorate (CTED).
During these three days, the participants focused on the implementation and improvement of methods for screening and prosecution of persons associated with Boko Haram in Chad.
The workshop also enabled the Chadian Government, through the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, to launch the Disengagement, Disassociation, Reintegration and Reconciliation (DDRR) programme, which aims to support the Government of Chad in creating a safe, viable and reliable pathway out of the armed group for all individuals who wish to leave it. Moreover, the DDRR programme seeks to support the Government to support their successful reintegration into society and strengthens the institutional capacity of local and national authorities.
At the end of the workshop, a series of recommendations were proposed by the participants, including the establishment of a counter-terrorism unit, the setting-up of reception and referral centres for disengaged associates of the group, and strategies for relevant authorities to provide socio-economic, educational and cultural support to local communities in view of fostering reconciliation and reintegration.
“DDRR is crucial for Chad” said the Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals, His Excellency Mr. Djimet ARABI in his opening address. “We are committed to ensuring that the recommendations of the workshop are transmitted to the highest authorities of the State,” he reassures.
The programme inscribes itself in the Regional Strategy for the Stabilization, Recovery & Resilience of the Boko Haram-affected Areas of the Lake Chad Basin Region proposed by the African Union and the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) in 2018. It is of paramount importance for Chad which has been continuously affected by the Boko Haram crisis around Lake Chad since 2015.
IOM and other partners are supporting the Government of Chad in the development and implementation of a national DDRR strategy which will also contribute to community stabilization.
After the first Boko Haram attacks in 2015 in Chad, the country, and most notably the Lake Chad Basin, has been repeatedly targeted by this group, despite the authorities’ continuous efforts to ensure security in the area. The Government’s proposal of an armistice for those who would surrender was accepted by about 2,200 persons associated with the armed group. The DDRR programme supports the Government in developing strategies for those who surrendered.
During the workshop, the Chief of the Canton of Bol reminded the participants that Boko Haram’s presence in the Lake Chad region is attributable to factors such as isolation, poor development, poverty and the precariousness of the communities’ conditions.
The workshop brought together representatives of different Ministries, Governor of the Lake, Chief of the Canton of Bol, Multi National Joint Task Force, African Union, Lake Chad Basin Commission and diplomatic representations of the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin countries.
For more information, please contact Anne Kathrin Schaefer at IOM Chad, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org