Boko Haram and its splinter groups, the Islamic State West Africa Province and Jamā'at Ahl as-Sunnahlid-Da'wah wa'l-Jihād (JAS), have been active in the Lake Chad Basin for over 10 years and collectivelyresponsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, the displacement of over three million IDPs, and over300,000 refugees. Today, despite progress towards a regional approach and an agreed regional strategy,the challenges seem to have increased: Boko Haram is active in multiple locations; Islamic State hasgained a significant foothold; traditional livelihoods continue to shrink; natural disasters, climate changeand COVID complicate the humanitarian crises and impair effective response.Across the Lake Chad Basin, whole communities have been, and continue to be, deeply affected. BokoHaram exploits existing gender inequality, conducting mass abductions of women and girls, forcingmarriages, perpetrating sexual violence and exploitation, and exploiting women and children to carryout improvised explosive attacks. Ongoing attacks have created a perpetual state of insecurity. Over thepast few years, thousands of individuals alleged to be associated with Boko Haram have ended up in thecustody of national authorities, raising difficult questions related to the best ways to build sustainablesolutions and manage multiple interests: including promoting defections from Boko Haram, ensuringactntability for crimes, supporting victims, protecting communities, and preventing returns to andrecruitment by Boko Haram, among others. Ensuring respect for fundamental human rights and fair and
2efficient processes regarding these persons, sensitive to the conflict environment and experience of bothcommunities and persons, that are gender responsive and age appropriate, is critical to comprehensivelyaddressing the problem of terrorism in the Lake Chad Basin.
The Security ercil has advanced comprehensive, whole-of-Government and whole-of-societyapproaches, emphasizing the need to respect human rights and international law to deal with thesechallenges. Following resolution 1373 (2001) that requires Member States to ensure that any personwho participates in the preparation or perpetration of terrorist acts is brought to justice, resolution 2178(2014) developed prosecution, rehabilitation and reintegration strategies for returning foreign terroristfighters; and resolution 2349 (2017), which focuses on the Lake Chad Basin, and resolution 2396(2017) called upon Member States to develop comprehensive and tailored strategies to prosecute,rehabilitate and reintegrate suspected individuals whom the authorities have reasonable grounds tobelieve are terrorists. Under the leadership of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and the African Union atthe regional level, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria have taken steps to conduct individualassessments and orient individuals to the most appropriate form of intervention or support, as needed,whether prosecution, rehabilitation or reintegration, or a combination of the latter, as needed. Aregional approach to screening, prosecution, rehabilitation and reintegration (SPRR), championed by theLake Chad Basin Commission and adopted as part of the Regional Strategy for the Stabilization, Recoveryand Resilience of Boko Haram-affected areas of the Lake Chad Basin Region, has strengthened theseefforts.A joint UNOCT/UNCCT, UNODC and CTED program is underway to support Cameroon, Chad, Niger andNigeria to develop and implement strategies for the screening, prosecution, rehabilitation andreintegration of Boko Haram-associated persons, in a harmonized manner at the regional level and incompliance with international requirements and regional frameworks.The side event will register progress, take stock of current efforts and challenges, and consider nextsteps. It will also highlight potential lessons that can be useful for other regions of the world.