UN lauds military onslaught against insurgency, pledges more aid
Nigeria has only 18 months to tackle crisis
The United Nations Security Council has commended the Nigerian military for its successful operations against Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast.
President of the council, Mathew Rycroft who led 14 permanent ambassadors on an assessment tour of the humanitarian crisis in Borno state said the UN was in support of the troops’ operations.
The ambassadors on the tour were those of China, Japan, United States of America, United Kingdom, South Korea, Senegal, Ethiopia, Germany, Norway and France.
He said: “The security council had resolved to help the Nigerian government to overcome its humanitarian challenges in the Lake Chad region.”He added that the member countries in the region would scale up their humanitarian assistance to ensure the resettlement of the over 2.6 million displaced persons.
He said the crisis in the northeast would no longer be neglected, as the UN Security Council had assessed the situation on ground. The delegation, which also visited the state governor Kashim Shettima, described the crisis as one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises in recent times.
Rycroft said at a press conference in Abuja yesterday that:
“The crisis in the Lake Chad Basin is one of the largest and the most neglected crisis and we want to shine the spotlight so that the whole world, including the government of the region could step up response before it is too late.
“We have only 18 month to attend to this crisis, because after that the Nigerian government would be busy with elections. It is important that the problem is addressed before the next elections.”
He also urged the Nigerian government to disburse the $1bn that it pledged at the Oslo Conference in response to the humanitarian crisis.Shettima urged the council to increase its humanitarian assistance, adding that his government was committed to job creation and education, particularly that of the girl child.
According to him, the root cause of the Boko Haram insurgency is illiteracy, poverty and unemployment, hence his government has committed huge investments to the sector.
The Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj-Gen. Lucky Irabor, disclosed that the porous borders between Nigeria and the neighbouring countries of Niger, Chad and Cameroon in the Lake Chad region was the greatest challenge that the military was facing.Irabor said the military had adopted a code of conduct and rules of engagement to ensure that the rights of citizens were not violated.
He stressed that the army had also constituted a court martial to try the ‘bad eggs’ in the military. He solicited greater support of the UN to ensure that these borders are well secured.