Boko Haram’s Link to IS Alarms UN

Boko Haram’s Link to IS Alarms UN Boko Haram’s Link to IS Alarms UN

The UN Security Council has said it is alarmed by ties between Nigeria’s Boko Haram militants and the self-styled Islamic State terrorists.

In a statement, it said Boko Haram, which pledged allegiance to IS in 2015, continued to “undermine the peace and stability” in West and Central Africa.

Nigeria is to host a summit on Saturday on fighting Boko Haram, BBC reported.

President Muhammadu Buhari will welcome counterparts from Benin, Cameroon, Chad and Niger for the gathering in Abuja, along with French President Francois Hollande, UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

In the statement, the 15-member UN Security Council expressed “alarm at Boko Haram’s linkages with the Islamic State”. It also voiced support for Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s “crucial initiative” to hold the security summit in Abuja.

Meanwhile, Blinken, who is already in Nigeria, said he was concerned by reports that Boko Haram militants were going to Libya, where IS influence has grown in recent months.

“We’ve seen that Boko Haram’s ability to communicate has become more effective,” he said. “They seem to have benefited from assistance from Daesh [another name of IS].”

Blinken added: “So these are all elements that suggest that there are more contacts and more cooperation, and this is again something that we are looking at very carefully because we want to cut it off.”

At the same time, he declined to comment on whether the US would agree to a Nigerian request to sell it American warplanes to fight Boko Haram.

Boko Haram militants have been attacking civilian targets, as the Nigerian military seeks to wrest territory from their control.