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UN charges Nigeria on Boko Haram, congratulates Mali on peace talks


THE United Nations Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) has condemned the recent attacks in Nigeria by the Boko Haram insurgents. Speaking on behalf of the UN Sercretary General, UN Secretary General’s spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, at a daily press briefing held in New York, condemned the  “continuing indiscriminate and horrific attacks by Boko Haram against civilian populations in Cameroun, Chad, Niger and Nigeria.  The abduction and use of children, including as “suicide bombers”, is particularly abhorrent”. 

The Secretary-General commended the efforts of countries in the Lake Chad Basin Commission and Benin, with the support of the African Union, towards operationalizing the Multinational Joint Task Force to counter the threat posed by Boko Haram in the subregion and called for further help from international partners to provide support to the regional efforts.

He however, encouraged the forces to ensure that international human rights laws, humanitarian laws  and refugee laws are respected in the conduct of their operations. “He is concerned by the impact of combat operations on local populations in Cameroun, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, and calls on countries of the region to give the highest priority to the protection of refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons, including by providing them with life-saving support”, Ban Ki Moon’s spokesman said.  

She added that the UN will scale up its humanitarian operations and increase its human rights monitoring in all the impacted countries.

“The Secretary-General is convinced that a military approach alone will not suffice to counter the Boko Haram insurgency.  Only through a multidimensional approach that addresses legitimate grievances, past and current human rights violations, and the root causes of the conflict, will we be able to effectively respond to the barbaric threats posed by Boko Haram to regional peace and security and to local populations”, she stated.

In a related statement, the UN has also congratulated Mali in reaching a peace accord for further stability in the country.

The UN website quoted Dujarric as saying that the Government of Mali, a member of the coalition of armed groups ‘Platform’ and the mediation team led by Algeria reached the agreement Monday, though the ‘Coordination’ of coalition of armed groups has not yet initialled the document and has requested additional time to consult with its constituencies in Mali.

The mission says the draft peace accord is “the most viable compromise to meet the multiple challenges facing Mali”. It also notes that sustained and united international support is required to assist the parties in finalising and then implementing an inclusive and sustainable peace agreement.

“The ownership and commitment of the Malian parties is crucial for success. And the mission calls on all Malian parties to continue to engage constructively and in good faith towards a final settlement” Mr. Dujarric added. 

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