The United Nations Security Council has called on Boko Haram to immediately release the more than 200 abducted Chibok schoolgirls and end all violent attacks against Nigeria and its neighbour, Cameroon.
The Security Council in a statement placed on its website after its meeting on Monday also condemned the recent escalation in attacks by the insurgents, expressing concerns that its activities were undermining the peace and stability of the West and Central African region.
“The Security Council demands that Boko Haram immediately and unequivocally cease all hostilities and all abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law and disarm and demobilise,” Chile’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Cristián Melet, declared on Monday while reading a statement approved by the council.
A group called Avaaz had on Friday launched a campaign calling on the UN Security Council to pass an emergency resolution calling for an end to insurgency and the release of the Chibok girls by Boko Haram.
Avaaz is a global web movement “to bring people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere.” The group on Monday had hailed the declaration by the UNSC.
“Boko Haram has butchered its way into the global spotlight and finally the Security Council is reacting. Today’s statement is a critical start and all eyes are now on Nigeria, its neighbours and the international community to put words into comprehensive action to stop 10-year-olds being strapped to bombs or kidnapped in the night; the Campaign Director for Avaaz, Alice Jay, said.
In the statement, the UN Security Council also condemned and deplored all abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law by the insurgents, since 2009, ‘including those involving violence against civilian populations, notably women and children, and demanded “the immediate and unconditional release” of all those abducted by the group, including the over 200 schoolgirls kidnapped in Chibok in Borno State in April last year.
The UN body’s condemnation of the terrorist group follows Boko Haram’s recent suicide bombings on January 10 and 11 in Maiduguri and Potiskum as well as attacks in Baga which resulted in the “massive destruction of civilian homes and significant civilian casualties.”
The UN Human Rights office had emphasised last week that the use of a child to detonate a bomb was “not only morally repugnant but constitutes an egregious form of child exploitation under international law.”
According to media reports, some 80 people, many of them said to be children, were abducted on Sunday in Cameroon in one of the biggest Boko Haram kidnappings to take place outside of Nigeria.
The Council’s statement also cited increasing attacks in the Lake Chad Basin region along Nigeria’s borders and noted that some of Boko Haram’s acts “may amount to crimes against humanity.”
Melet said that the Security Council expressed its concern at the scale of the growing humanitarian crisis enveloping the region due to Boko Haram’s operations which, he said, had “resulted in the large-scale displacement of Nigerians within the country into neighbouring Cameroon, Chad, and Niger.”
“The Security Council underlines the need to bring perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice in accordance with international law and relevant Security Council resolutions,” Melet added.
Written For http://www.globalruns.com