It was amid a very friendly weather that, in this afternoon of Wednesday, 9th August 2017, the inauguration ceremony of the Dandal Kura International Radio Station of N’Djamena took place at the Headquarters of the Lake Chad Basin Commission Multinational Joint Task Force (HQs MNJTF) based at Farcha Milesi area in N’Djamena as the Mentor of this radio station. The Executive Secretary of LCBC, Political Head of MNJTF Mission, the Commander MNJTF, Representatives of Op Barkhan and Liaison and Coordination Center (CCL), the representative of the High Communication Authority of Chad, other military and civilian personalities and a myriad of participants also attended this inauguration ceremony.
As the second radio station after the one of Maiduguri (Nigeria) launched in January 2015, the Dandal Kura Radio Station – Meeting ground in Kanuri language which is largely spoken in the Lake Chad basin area – is aiming at bridging the media isolation of the Lake Chad basin area, notably the isolation of regions under Boko Haram Terrorist Group propaganda, and promoting peace, security, brotherliness and responsible citizenship in lieu of this message of hatred and violence disseminated by this terrorist group.
Broadcasting on short waves and with a view to breaking down barriers between member countries, the Dandal Kura Radio of N’Djamena broadcasts, on a daily basis, a two-hour radio programme in Kanuri language spoken not only in Chad but also in Niger, Nigeria, Northern Cameroon and in the Lake Chad region. Programmes dealing with current events and issues related to awareness raising or counterpropaganda against Boko Haram Terrorist Group are timely and of paramount importance as they come to bridge a gap in the sense that most of the media in this large geographical area shared by Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria use either French or English and in some extent Hausa language to broadcast their programmes when the majority of the audience speaks Kanuri language.
The objective is to set up a series of local radio stations under the umbrella of a regional network broadcasting in the major languages of the Lake Chad basin and dealing with the major concerns of Lake Chad riparian populations based on reliable and timely information on security, humanitarian and development dynamics in the entire area, with a view to ensuring sustainable peaceful coexistence between communities beyond these virtual boundaries. In other words, the aim of this initiative is to help LCBC achieve its objectives.
Before the official cutting of the ribbon, the founder of this radio station, the Executive Secretary of LCBC, Head of MNJTF Mission, the Commander MNJTF, the Representative of the Danish Ministry of Cooperation and the Representative of the Higher Communication Authority of Chad took the floor to unanimously highlight the significant role that media and journalists can play in preventing violence and violent extremism as well as in sensitizing people on the culture of peace and the promotion of concrete initiatives as alternatives to violence.
The Executive Secretary of LCBC, Head of Mission of the Multinational Joint Task Force, Engr. SANUSI IMRAN ABDULLAHI pointed out the relevance of prevention and the need to involve major actors such as media and journalists in better informing the general audience on the violent extremism phenomenon, to better understanding the root causes which lead to violence and to urge all stakeholders to consider and further commit themselves to take concrete initiatives likely to offer alternatives to violence. He further stressed some of the missions assigned to the radio station such as increasing awareness and mobilizing grassroots communities for the execution of development projects and programmes, supporting LCBC cultural and socio-economic development activities at the local level, contributing to the promotion of local languages and integration between Lake Chad riparian populations and the other communities living in this large area.
Engr. SANUSI IMRAN ABDULLAHI availed himself of this opportunity to express his profound gratitude and sincere thanks to Partners supporting LCBC and its member countries in their efforts to ensure security, stability and development in this part of the world facing today critical ecological, economic and security challenges. He also expressed the wish to see the baby growing up and contributing significantly to the initiatives of de-radicalization, promotion of moderate voices, the principle of equal opportunities, dialogue and solidarity notwithstanding formal boundaries through the empowerment of young men and women, etc. He concluded his word by pointing out that the radio, once appropriately used, may serve as a “soft power” likely to prevent threats caused by the misinterpretation of culture through hatred, ignorance, etc.