The United Nations Department of Peace Operations (DPO) has commissioned AUN's Dean of Graduate School and Research, Professor Jacob Udo-Udo Jacob, to lead a team of scholars to develop a set of policies and operational guidance that could be used to promote the defection of combatants in the Lake Chad Basin.
According to a commissioning statement signed by Thomas Kontogeorgos, Chief of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) Section in the UN DPO, Professor Jacob will work in close collaboration with relevant stakeholders to develop operational guidance "that could be used to promote voluntary exits of combatants leaving Armed Groups, including those Designated as Terrorist Organization (AGDTO), in line with relevant Security Council resolutions and the Integrated DDR Standards." He will also develop "a set of policy recommendations as a contribution to ongoing DDR efforts in support of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC)."
His work further supports UN Security Council Resolution 2349, which mandates Lake Chad Basin countries to "develop and implement consistent policies for promoting Boko Haram and ISIL defections."
An expert in influence and strategic communication in contexts of war and peace, Professor Jacob had previously led a team of international scholars to revise the UN's policy on public information and strategic communications in support of DDR of combatants. His team introduced a strategic communication approach to the Public Information Module of the UN's Integrated DDR Standards to help combat the threats of disinformation during peacekeeping operations. His contribution to the revised Module is a "testament to the gains that can be achieved through close collaboration between field practitioners, policymakers and academia," the statement by Kontogeorgos read.
Professor Jacob earned his Ph.D. in Communications Studies with an emphasis on Strategic Communication from the University of Leeds, UK. A former adjunct professor of Media in War and Peace in the Department of National Security and Strategy at the US Army War College, he is the author of Convincing Rebel Fighters to Disarm: UN Information Operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (De Gruyter, 2017) and other works.