Central Africa faces serious terrorist threats, including those of Boko Haram, which have serious socio-economic, security and humanitarian impacts on Chad and Cameroon. UNOCA initiated an assessment mission to these countries in October 2014. UNOCA is indeed working hard and closely with countries of the sub-region, partners and UN agencies, including the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), to find lasting solutions to the terrorist threat. UNOCA is also one of the institutions that organized a series of thematic workshops, leading to the establishment of a regional strategy to combat terrorism and the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in Central Africa. This strategy was adopted on 26 November 2015 at the 41st Ministerial Session of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa (UNSAC) held in Libreville, Gabon.
UNOCA's involvement in the fight against Boko Haram is based on several decisions of the UN Security Council. In a Statement (S/PRST/2015/12) on 15 June 2015 following the presentation of the Report of the Secretary-General on the activities of UNOCA, the President of the Security Council requested UNOCA to continue to cooperate with UNOWAS in order to "support, as appropriate, the states of the Lake Chad Basin region to address the impact of the threat on peace and security, including the political, socioeconomic and humanitarian situation in the Subregion".
The Security Council sounded the alarm by recalling that since 2009, Boko Haram attacks have "caused large-scale and devastating loss of life and represent a threat to the stability and peace of West and Central Africa". It also noted with concern that "the activities of Boko Haram continue to have adverse humanitarian impact on West and Central Africa including the displacement of an estimated 74,000 Nigerians into neighbouring Cameroon, 96,000 internally displaced persons within Cameroon, and in Chad almost 20,000 Nigerian refugees, 8,500 returnees and 14,500 internally displaced persons".
In this regard, the Statement by the President of the Security Council "encourages partners to increase security assistance to Lake Chad Basin Commission countries and Benin, humanitarian support across the region for those affected by Boko Haram activities". The Special Representative and Head of UNOCA regularly launches appeals in this respect to the international community. The Special Representative also carries out field missions to strengthen the United Nations’ support to affected countries. Some of the missions are jointly organized and undertaken with UNOWAS staff.
The Senior Military Adviser of UNOCA monitors this issue with great attention, in liaison with a Political Affairs Officer and other substantive sections.