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The European Council of 9 February 2015 concluded that the growing regionalisation of the Boko Haram threat requires a collective and comprehensive response to defeat terrorism. In full respect of human rights, the African Peace Facility (APF) contribution was first announced by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in late 2015. EU support through the APF reflects the strong commitment to fighting Boko Haram and to regional cooperation established under leadership of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC).
The beneficiary of the project is the MNJTF, which is under the political leadership of the LCBC, and mandated by the AU Peace and Security Council (AU PSC). Its total strength is around 10 000 uniformed elements. Troop contributing countries are Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. Benin deployed an additional 150 soldiers. The headquarters of the force are located in N'Djamena, Chad. The force is structured into four sectors each with its own headquarters namely Mora/Cameroon, Bagasola/Chad, Diffa/Niger and Baga/Nigeria. The MNJTF also includes a civilian component.
France and the US provide in-kind support to individual MNJTF troop contributing countries (TCC's), while the UK mobilised £5 million which is channelled through the AUC.
Despite military achievements, the attacks and insecurity caused by Boko Haram continue to heavily affect the populations in the region. Some 2.2 million people are believed to be internally displaced as a result of violence throughout the Chad Basin, with an additional 206 000 refugees.
- Contributes to restoring a safe and secure environment in the areas of the Lake Chad Basin that are affected by Boko Haram, through increased regional cooperation.
- Reinforces the ability of the MNJTF to coordinate, command and conduct joint multinational operations in its area of operations by providing it with the necessary assets (infrastructure, communication, transportation, etc.) to do so.
The operations conducted by the MNJTF have led to militarily progress in reducing the movement of Boko Haram by pushing them back into their sanctuaries.
The EU support covers personnel and operational/logistical costs, representing 78% and 21% of EU funding respectively. The AUC committed to providing MNJTF with the necessary assets to enable the force to effectively carry out its mandate, including infrastructure, air transportation and communication equipment. Medical services funded by the EU are already being provided to the force and on 15 March 2018, 61 vehicles were handed over.
The AU and the LCBC, together with the MNJTF and its troop contributing countries, have also launched a series of conferences which should lead to the adoption of a comprehensive regional stabilisation strategy that should guide the transition from a military oriented approach towards recovery and development.
The APF support to the MNJTF is one element of a broader, coordinated and coherent EU strategy to support resilience, stabilisation and economic recovery in the Lake Chad Basin. More than EUR 700 million has been mobilised so far for the Lake Chad region, including humanitarian assistance, the Emergency Trust Fund, stabilisation funding as well as national and regional programmes.
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