The Meeting of Honourable Ministers of Defence (HMoD) took place on 15 November 2019 at the Hilton Hotel, N’Djamena. It was attended by HMoD (or their representatives) of TCCs (Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria), as well as Chiefs of Defence Staff (CDS), national military experts and representatives of LCBC, MNJTF and AU. The following items were on the agenda: Review of the African Union (AU) additional support to the MNJTF, Review of the CONOPS and Continuation of Operation “YANCIN TAFKI”, Decisions of the Defence and Security Committee Meeting of December 2018, Review of the Memorandum of Understanding between AU and LCBC relating to the sustenance of MNJTF operations and the Support Implementation Agreement between AU, LCBC and TCCs.
In preparation for the Meeting of HMOD of TCCs to MNJTF of LCBC, two preparatory meetings were held: the Meeting of Experts on 13 November at the conference room of the Ledger Plaza Hotel and the Meeting of CDS of TCCs on 14 November 2019, at the Hilton Hotel.
During two days, all items on the agenda were scrutinized by experts and CDS of TCCs to lay the groundwork and facilitate sound and effective decision-making by the Ministers of Defence.
Deliberations of the Meeting of Ministers of Defence started with the presentation and review of the report of the Meeting of Chiefs of Defence Staff, the review and adoption of the report of the Meeting of Ministers of Defence, the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding and SIA between LCBC and AU and any other business.
The Meeting of the Ministers of Defence adopted the report of the CDS meeting, with some amendments. Regarding the review of AU additional support, the Ministers acknowledged the need to review the AU additional support and approved the implementation of the pending contracts at AU, in the fields of transport (air mobility), communication (CSIS) and ISR with some recommendations made. On the Review and Continuation of Operation “YANCIN TAFKI”, the Ministers of Defence acknowledged the need to continue and intensify the operation against Boko Haram, as had earlier been authorized by the Summit of Heads of State and Government of TCCs held in December 2018. The Ministers recommended the HoM to continue efforts towards the mobilisation of funds for the continuation of the operation. The Ministers approved the directives given to the FC to review the CONOPS and carry out an assessment of the amphibious equipment needed for the operation and convey same to TCCs.
Concerning the Decisions of the Defence and Security Committee Meeting of December 2018, the Ministers directed the HoM and FC to review the level of implementation of the various recommendations contained in the report of the Defence and Security Committee Meeting of December 2018 validated by the LCBC Summit of Heads of State and Government.
As regards the Review of the Memorandum of Understanding between AU and LCBC relating to the sustenance of MNJTF operations and the Support Implementation Agreement between AU, LCBC and TCCs, the Ministers approved the draft MoU between AU and LCBC relating to the sustenance of MNJTF operations and the SIA between AU, LCBC and TCCs. In addition, the Ministers acknowledged the need to extend the EU contribution agreement beyond 31 December 2019 and consider relocating the Benin contingent because the current location was initially earmarked for the construction of an Armed Forces children’s school.
The meeting ended with the adoption and endorsement of the conclusions by all the Ministers and a Gala Dinner offered by LCBC in honour of all the delegations.