hotbed of trouble

Lake Chad Basin: Security crisis worsens with illicit weapons trade

By Jaysim Hanspal

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Posted on February 1, 2023 11:02

Internally displaced people return home in Borno State © People, who were internally displaced and  waiting to receive their new home, stand to attend the community re-opening ceremony, which was destroyed by Boko Haram armed militants in 2015, in Ngarannam, Borno State, Nigeria, October 22, 2022. REUTERS/Christophe Van Der Perre
People, who were internally displaced and waiting to receive their new home, stand to attend the community re-opening ceremony, which was destroyed by Boko Haram armed militants in 2015, in Ngarannam, Borno State, Nigeria, October 22, 2022. REUTERS/Christophe Van Der Perre

The area surrounding the Lake Chad Basin area has struggled with insecurity for years. Terrorist activities by Boko Haram, cattle rustling, illicit oil trade and other illegal activities make the region a hotbed of trouble with far-reaching consequences.

Countries in the Lake Chad Basin (LCB), namely Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, grapple with these multiple challenges, and are forced to contend with recurrent intra- and inter-communal clashes, abductions, and contested state control, particularly along the borders. Last year, 917 incidents were reported.

Smuggling has led to increased displacement across the region, which makes up 8% of the continent and is home to 42 million people. A recent report showed these combinations of factors have led to the displacement of approximately three million people, with more than 11 million people in need of protection and humanitarian assistance, as societal cohesion continues to break down.

Call to action

In November, after an attack at a Chad-Nigerian outpost by Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari raised a call to action,

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