Wednesday, July 29, 2015

UN Security Council Condemns Boko Haram Violence, Backs Regional Efforts To Counter Ongoing Attacks

Security Council Condemns Boko Haram Violence, Backs Regional Efforts To Counter Ongoing Attacks

NEW YORK, 28 July 2015 / PRN Africa / -- While acknowledging progress made against Boko Haram following joint regional military efforts in recent months, the United Nations Security Council today encouraged increased regional cooperation to stamp out the terrorist group, which the Council strongly condemned for its ongoing deadly violence, human rights abuses and mass abductions in the Lake Chad Basin.

Adopting a Presidential Statement during a formal meeting, the Security Council expressed its concern at the continued threat posed to international peace and security by Boko Haram “and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with A1-Qaida,” and reaffirmed Member States' determination to continue doing all “they can to resolve conflict and to deny terrorist groups the ability to put down roots and establish safe havens.”

The Council went on to reiterate its strong condemnation of all the terrorist attacks, abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law by Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin region, and recognized that women and girls are particularly targeted by Boko Haram. Council members expressed deep sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims as well as to the peoples and Governments of Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured.

Acknowledging a series of steps taken by the African Union (AU), the Security Council in its statement took note of the letter sent to the UN Secretary-General on 6 March 2015, forwarding the Communiques adopted by the AU Peace and Security Council on 29 January and 3 March 2015, as well as the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) Strategic Concept of Operations (CONOPS) to fight against Boko Haram.

In this regard, the Council commended the Lake Chad Basin Member States and Benin for their continued efforts to fully operationalize the MNJTF in order to collectively enhance regional military cooperation and coordination to more effectively combat the threat posed by the Boko Haram.

The Council also encouraged the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), in coordination with the AU Commission, to accelerate joint efforts to adopt a comprehensive strategy to more effectively and urgently combat the threat posed by Boko Haram, and, in this regard welcomes plans to convene a summit in August and urges the two subregional organizations to adopt a common strategy and develop active cooperation and coordination.

Acknowledging the economic burden borne by the Boko Haram-affected countries and welcoming the continuing commitment of Member States and international partners participating in support of the MNJTF, the Council called upon the international community and donors to support the Force, particularly its operational capability and welcomes in this regard, the AUC plans to organize a donors' conference in support of the efforts of the Lake Chad Basin Member States and Benin.

The Council statement also spotlights the “deteriorating humanitarian situation” in the Lake Chad Basin countries, with close to 1.9 million people forcibly displaced in the region. It reaffirmed the need for all parties to armed conflict to respect the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence in order to ensure the provision of humanitarian assistance, and encouraged all actors involved in the response to support recovery programmes and, among others, to pay particular attention to the release and reintegration of children abducted by Boko Haram or formerly associated with this terrorist group.

“We had closely monitored the detention and trial and found that international fair trial standards had failed to be met. Among the key shortcomings is the failure to establish individual criminal responsibility in relation to specific crimes,” she said, adding that there were also serious issues relating to access to lawyers, claims of ill-treatment, and trials conducted in absentia.

Ms. Shamdasani stressed that while it is crucial to ensure accountability for serious human rights violations, “this needs to be done with scrupulous adherence to international fair trial standards and with full respect for the rights of the defendants. Failing this, injustice is only compounded.”

“The UN opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances. In this case, where fair trial standards have clearly not been met, we strongly deplore the imposition of the death penalty,” she said, urging that Libyan authorities to ensure that legal reforms are introduced as a matter of urgency, to ensure that human rights are fully respected in the administration of justice and that verdicts of the Court of Assize can be appealed and are not only subject to cassation.

SOURCE UN News Centre

Statement by the Spokesperson on the repeated suicide attacks in Cameroon and Nigeria and the continuing violence in the region

BRUSSELS, 27 July 2015 / PRN Africa / -- In the last two months, about 800 people are reported to have been killed and many more wounded in multiple terror attacks in the countries around Lake Chad.

Those responsible for the recent suicide attacks in Cameroon on 25 July and in Nigeria on 26 July have a complete disregard for human life and dignity.

We extend our condolences to the families of the victims and we wish a speedy recovery to those injured. We express our solidarity with the authorities of the concerned countries and our confidence that those responsible for these acts of terror will be brought to justice.

Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria are sparing no effort in fighting terrorism in the region. Strong coordination both on the ground and at regional level, and for continued socio-economic development of the affected areas is needed. The EU reiterates its support to those regional organizations, national authorities, civil society organizations and citizens that are involved.

The pursuit by national authorities of long-term development, the protection and strengthening of basic services and the respect for humanitarian law and for human rights is essential for ensuring enhanced state presence and providing a sustainable solution to this crisis.

The European Union supports the efforts for comprehensive bilateral and regional cooperation to tackle these challenges. The recent visits of President Buhari to Niger and Chad and his upcoming visit to Cameroon are timely opportunities in this regard.

Copyright European Union, 1995-2015

SOURCE European External Action

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