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Statement attributable to the Spokesman of the Secretary-General on Boko Haram Attacks

By United Nations - Office of the Spokesperson of the
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NEW YORK, February 27, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Secretary-General reiterates his strong condemnation of the continuing indiscriminate and horrific attacks by Boko Haram against civilian populations in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. The abduction and use of children, including as “suicide bombers”, is particularly abhorrent.

The Secretary-General is encouraged by the positive steps taken by the countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and Benin, with the support of the African Union, towards operationalizing the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to counter the threat posed by Boko Haram in the sub-region. He calls on international partners to provide support to these regional efforts.

The Secretary-General urges the states involved to ensure that all measures taken to combat the terrorist threat of Boko Haram are conducted in line with international human rights, humanitarian and refugee law. He is concerned by the impact of combat operations on local populations in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria and calls on countries of the region to give the highest priority to the protection of refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons, including by providing them with life-saving support. The United Nations is scaling up its humanitarian operations and increasing its human rights monitoring in the affected countries.

The Secretary-General is convinced that a military approach alone will not suffice to counter the Boko Haram insurgency. Only through a multi-dimensional approach that addresses legitimate grievances, past and current human rights violations, and root causes of the conflict, will we be able to effectively respond to the barbaric threat posed by Boko Haram to regional peace and security and to local populations.