No need for UN force to fight Boko Haram, Nigeria says
Nigeria’s outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan tells the UN that his country does not need the help of an international force to fight the Boko Haram Takfiri militants.
Jonathan said in a Thursday statement that he wanted the world body to focus instead on assisting those affected by the Boko Haram militancy.
The outgoing leader made the comments after meeting with the UN special representatives for West and Central Africa.
Jonathan said the UN involvement should not be based on military enforcement, but regional promotion of security.
The Nigerian military has in recent months regained most of the towns seized by the militants in the northeastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe with the backing of some regional countries, the statement added.
The army has also “commenced a final push to take the last stronghold of militants in Sambisa Forest” in Borno state, it noted.
The latest developments come as Nigeria has resisted a strong UN Security Council mandate to deploy an international force against Boko Haram.
However, Abuja has welcomed joint efforts by a united regional front to fight militancy. Chad, Niger and Cameroon have already launched a joint major air and ground operation against Boko Haram militants as part of a regional push to end the militant group’s violence.
Meanwhile, the UN special representative for West Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, told Jonathan that the UN team was visiting the countries affected by the Boko Haram militancy. He also reaffirmed the UN’s readiness to support the ongoing efforts by Nigeria and its neighbors to end the ongoing violence.
The developments come as a recent report by the UK-based rights group, Amnesty International, has shed new light on the brutal methods used by Boko Haram, including mass kidnappings, cataloging the frequent abduction of young women and girls, gang rapes as well as the forced recruitment of men and boys.
File photo shows Takfiri Boko Haram militants at an undisclosed location in Nigeria.
Nigeria has been grappling with the rising threat of the Boko Haram Takfiri terrorist group since 2009.
Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is forbidden,” controls parts of northeastern Nigeria and says its goal is to overthrow the government.
The terrorist group has claimed responsibility for a number of deadly shootings and bombings in various parts of Nigeria, which have left over 13,000 people dead and 1.5 million displaced over the past few years.
Boko Haram recently declared allegiance to the ISIL Takfiri group, which is perpetrating heinous crimes against humanity in areas under its control in Iraq, Syria and Libya.