LAGOS – No fewer than four human rights groups on Sunday urged the UN Security Council to sanction countries aiding and abetting the Boko Haram attacks in North-East Nigeria.
The groups made the plea in an open letter addressed to members of the UN Security Council which was obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
The groups are: the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP); Enough is Enough Nigeria Coalition; Civil Society Network Against Corruption and Women Empowerment; and Legal Aid Initiative.
NAN reports that the five permanent members of the council are: China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States.
The 10 non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly are: Argentina, Australia, Chad, Chile, Jordan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, and Rwanda.
In the letter signed on their behalf by Mr Adetokunbo Mumuni, the Coordinator of SERAP, the group noted that thousands of Nigerians had been killed or displaced by the insurgents.
They asked the council to sanction any neighbouring states that might be aiding Boko Haram through weak border controls and banks that failed to monitor financial transactions involving the sect.
According to the groups, initiating, supporting and adopting the proposed resolution will send a powerful message that the international community has not abandoned the victims.
“Support from all member-states is important to demonstrate that an important institution of the UN committed to promoting international peace and security stands with the people of Nigeria,” they said.
The group asked the council to “request the Secretary-General to appoint a Special Representative on the situation in the North-East of Nigeria.
According to them, the representative is to investigate the complicity of any ECOWAS member-state, individuals or organisations and to report to the Council at regular intervals on the implementation of the proposed resolution.
“We strongly believe that the human rights and humanitarian situation in the North East of Nigeria now meets the threshold of definite threat to international peace and security in Article 39 of the UN Charter.
“We believe that member-states now stand at a crossroads in their approach to the human rights and humanitarian tragedy in North-East of Nigeria.
“Now is the time for member-states to stand with the victims of serious violations of human rights in Nigeria if they are not to be accused of double standard in the discharge of the important mandates of the Security Council.
“We are seriously concerned that the crisis continues to have devastating effects on the civilian population, in particular, the most vulnerable and disadvantaged sector of the population such as the poor, children, women and elderly.’’ (NAN)