UNSC Calls for Military Action Against Boko Haram

UNSC Calls for Military Action Against Boko HaramUNSC Calls for Military Action Against Boko Haram

The United Nations Security Council condemned the recent escalation of attacks by Boko Haram and called for a multinational military effort to tackle the Nigerian extremist group.

The council strongly condemned attacks by Boko Haram, in particular those involving children used as suicide bombers, and demanded an end to the violence, Al-Jazeera reported.

The multinational force has been under discussion since last year, but divisions over the scale and scope of its operations have slowed down the deployment. Chad is set to contribute a sizeable contingent to the force along with Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria and Benin.

The statement from the council came as Boko Haram fighters seized scores of hostages in a raid in neighboring Cameroon on Sunday.

About two dozen hostages were later released but the attack compounded fears that Boko Haram was ramping up operations beyond Nigeria’s borders.

The council expressed “deep concern that the activities of Boko Haram are undermining the peace and stability of the west and central African region,” said the statement presented by Nigeria. The statement was the first adopted by the council on the threat posed by Boko Haram, which is on the UN “terrorist” list. Previous statements focused on condemning specific attacks.

The 15-member council demanded that Boko Haram “immediately and unequivocally cease all hostilities and all abuses of human rights and violations” in the presidential statement. It accused Boko Haram of carrying out kidnappings, killings, hostage-taking, pillaging, rape, sexual slavery and recruitment of child soldiers since it launched its campaign in 2009.

Diplomats said the statement pointed to a shift from Nigeria which has shied away from discussing Boko Haram even though it is one of the 10 non-permanent members of the council.

The council statement urged regional leaders to “undertake further planning toward the sustainable, viable and effective organization of the Multinational Joint Task Force.”

It urged the African countries to “identify the means and modalities of the envisaged deployment, especially in the areas of intelligence sharing and joint operations.”