The UN Security Council will be visiting Nigeria within the next few weeks to discuss strategies for combating the destructive Boko Haram insurgents and to assess the level of humanitarian crisis caused by the terrorist group.
The Deputy Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General, Mr Farhan Haq, confirmed to the Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York that the visit would take place in March.
Haq regretted the negative consequences of the insurgency on the country and the people but gave the assurance that the UN would continue to support Nigeria in this unfortunate situation and work with the country in its efforts to overcome the challenges.
He said “and there will be efforts to also evaluate what the situation (Boko Haram) is.
“I believe, in the coming days, the Security Council itself does intend to visit Nigeria and see for itself the humanitarian situation and evaluate it first-hand.
“The Security Council will be going to Nigeria to assess the humanitarian situation caused by Boko Haram.
“The visit will be coming up in March,” the deputy spokesperson told NAN.
Haq also noted the recently reported attacks by Boko Haram on a village in Borno and killing of people.
According to him, the UN agencies and partners would continue to deliver aid and provide other humanitarian assistance to the victims of the insurgency in the northeast.
He, however, said the unfortunate situation was making it more difficult for the organisations to effectively deliver aid in view of the recent breakthrough in reaching more victims following the successful recovery and liberation of territory previously under the control of Boko Haram.
“We (UN and partners) do continue to try to provide humanitarian aid, including in Nigeria.
“Certainly, any violence on the ground makes it more difficult to deliver humanitarian aid,” Haq said.
NAN gathered that besides visiting Nigeria and meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, the 15 Council members would also visit other African countries that have been affected by Boko Haram including Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
NAN recalls that on May 22, 2014, the Security Council, at the request of the Federal Government, listed Boko Haram as a terrorist group.
The Council’s Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee approved the addition of Boko Haram to its list of individuals and entities subject to the targeted financial sanctions and the arms embargo set out in paragraph 1 of Security Council resolution 2083 (2012), adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the UN.
The Chairman of the committee, Australia’s UN Ambassador Gary Quinlan, had said the international body had “very clear evidence” that members of Boko Haram had trained with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
“We will work to try and make that anyone providing material assistance to Boko Haram, whether funding or arms, will in effect be stopped,” Quinlan said.
“Jama’atu Ahlus-Sunna Lidda’Awati Wal Jihad (Boko Haram) was listed on pursuant to paragraphs 2 and 3 of resolution 2083 (2012) as being associated with Al-Qaida.
“For ‘participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of’ Al-Qaida and the Organization of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.”
The committee stressed the need for robust implementation of the Al-Qaida sanctions regime as a significant tool in combating terrorist activity.
The committee urged all Member States to participate actively by nominating for listing additional individuals, groups, undertakings and entities which should be subject to the sanctions measures.
With the listing, any individual or entity that provides financial or material support to Boko Haram, including the provision of arms or recruits, is eligible to be added to the Al-Qaida Sanctions List and subject to the sanctions measures. (NAN)