The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has declared that the peace and stability of Chad Republic must be protected and preserved by the International community.
This is as he warned that there will be serious consequences to the Lake Chad sub-region and the entire Sahel region if Chad becomes destabilized and disintegrated.
The Nigerian leader spoke on Tuesday in Abuja when he hosted the Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission.
According to Buhari, the flow of refugees and displaced persons from the country, the unrestrained flow of arms, drugs and other harmful substances into Lake Chad and Sahel Regions, widespread security challenges including unleashing of terror by insurgents are some of the challenges that the region may have to deal with if the situation in Chad is not contained.
He, therefore, called on all member nations of the commission as well as the international community and partner organizations to work together and ensure Chad Republic doesn’t disintegrate.
Buhari warned that the threats by the Chadian rebel groups clamouring to overthrow the government of the nation must not be treated with levity and all stakeholders must ensure that the planned transition from military to democratic government happens in a peaceful manner within the stipulated time of 18 months.
In his words, ‘‘Our region is faced with difficult, several challenges that need the support and engagement of all to overcome.
‘‘While transnational crimes and rebellion cutting across our region continue to evolve in scope, the attendant conflicts also continue to retain their distinct form of inflicting untold hardship and difficulty on the lives of our citizens.
‘‘The threats by the Chadian rebel groups, who are clamouring to overthrow the government, must be viewed with all the seriousness they deserve because the consequences of a destabilized Chad to the sub-region cannot be imagined.
The flow of refugees and displaced persons from the country, unrestrained flow of arms, drugs and other harmful substances into Lake Chad and Sahel Regions, which are already challenged by terrorists seeking to establish parallel systems, would further compound the security and stability of our areas and neighbouring countries.
‘‘It is, therefore, our collective duty and in honour of the memory of the men and women that have died in search of peace in the region, to rise in unison as leaders of the region to ensure that peace, stability and security are not disrupted in Chad and in the entire region.
‘‘These challenges, which are fuelled by an interplay of poverty and the loss of sustainable means of livelihood due to climate change, have been further exacerbated by the direct consequence of complete breakdown of law and order in Libya.”
The meeting was attended by the Presidents of Central African Republic, Niger, Chad, Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya and a representative of the president of Cameroon.