UN Security Council has tasked the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to prevent Boko Haram insurgents from regrouping. The Council said that destructive insurgents who were recently dislodged from their safe haven in Sambisa Forest should not be allowed to regroup
The Task Force was set up by Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Niger and the Republic of Benin to tackle Boko Haram insurgents. The Security Council, in a Presidential Statement, reiterated that terrorism should be combated in all forms to prevent its spread. “The Council urged the Multinational Joint Task Force participating countries to further enhance regional military cooperation and coordination. “The Force should deny safe haven to Boko Haram, and facilitate the restoration of civilian security and the rule of law in areas liberated from the militant group.” “The Council called on Governments in the region to facilitate access for humanitarian organisations, and to work with the UN and international partners to develop viable options for delivering aid.” It strongly condemned all terrorist attacks in West Africa, particularly those carried out by Boko Haram militants in the Lake Chad Basin. The Security Council stressed the need to combat terrorism in all its forms and to address the conditions conducive to its spread. The 15-member body reiterated its deep concern over the dire humanitarian situation caused by the activities of Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin region. “In this regard, the Security Council calls upon the international community to immediately support the provision of urgent humanitarian assistance for the people most affected by the crisis. “These people are in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, including by fulfilling the UN appeal for the Lake Chad Basin region.” It further welcomed sub-regional, regional and international efforts to mitigate the security, humanitarian and development impact of Boko Haram’s activities. The Security Council underlined that the UN Member States must ensure that any counter-terrorism measures are in compliance with all obligations under international law, particularly international human rights, humanitarian and refugee laws. The statement also expressed deep regret over bombing of the camp for displaced persons in Rann on Jan. 17, which resulted in the deaths of numerous civilians, including internally displaced persons and humanitarian workers. The Council also urged the Federal Government to investigate the incident swiftly. The Council welcomed recent positive political developments in several West African countries, in particular the holding of free and peaceful elections in Cape Verde and Ghana. It also commended the outcome of the political dialogue in Guinea, as well as welcomed steps taken to develop and institute political, institutional and constitutional reforms in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Senegal and Sierra Leone. The Council said it was encouraged by the ECOWAS authority’s decision concerning the political situation in The Gambia, and commended its action which ensured peaceful transition. It also commended the decisions by the AU Peace and Security Council that ceased to recognise out-gone President Yahya Jammeh as the legitimate President of The Gambia.
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