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World

Nigerian leader appoints special envoy on Chad, Lake Chad

  • During the visit, Buhari had offered to assist Chad "to stabilise and return to constitutional order".
01 Jun 2021

ABUJA: Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday appointed a special envoy on Chad and the violence-wracked Lake Chad region.

Chad's army has often played a key role in the decade-long fight against Boko Haram and more recently against the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) that operate in a region straddling both countries.

A government statement said Buhari "has approved the appointment of Ambassador Babagana Kingibe as his special envoy with cabinet rank status, to Chad and the Lake Chad Basin region."

It said the appointment of the experienced diplomat was in line with the resolution of a summit of the member states of the Lake Chad Basin Commission held last week.

"President Buhari has by this appointment demonstrated the determination of Nigeria to lead regional security efforts that will stabilise the Lake Chad Basin region, bring peace to Chad and ultimately eliminate the Boko Haram insurgency in the northest," it said.

The statement said the appointment was also a fulfilment of Buhari's promise to Chad's leader, General Mahamat Deby Itno, when he visited Nigeria two weeks ago.

During the visit, Buhari had offered to assist Chad "to stabilise and return to constitutional order".

Deby, 37, came to power at the head of a military junta after the shock death six weeks ago of his father Idriss Deby Itno, who had led the country for 30 years.

Deby died, according to the Chadian authorities, on April 19 after suffering mortal wounds fighting the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT), a large armed group with a rear base in Libya.

The new junta appointed a transitional civilian government and promised to hold elections within 18 months.