Stability in Lake Chad: a focus on economic development and the resilience of the people as an adjunct to military action

Since 2015, the countries bordering the Lake Chad Basin have been attempting to provide a military response to Boko Haram, which has taken a high human and economic toll in this territory inhabited by citizens of four different countries. The emergence of terrorism in this part of the continent is solely the consequence of the failure of the governments, which have not provided infrastructure, even less basic social services.

The threat took these governments by surprise, and they reacted with a military response that reduced the danger without eliminating it completely. Over the years, the Islamist movement has undergone a transformation, and it is important for governments to adapt their responses to the changing circumstances by promoting economic development alongside military action. Indeed, they must move beyond a single-minded focus on security alone, and, with the support of the international community, must listen to the people, hear their grievances and aspirations, and devise a coordinated response plan for this part of Africa, which is at the crossroads of several regions (West Africa, the Sahara, and Central Africa).

This should be done in a concerted manner and with the support of the international community. Otherwise, poverty and climate change, which create a breeding ground for terrorism, will have a more serious impact on the security of the region and the rest of the world.

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