Boko Haram, Nigerian group that kidnapped schoolgirls, put on UN terror sanctions list

Aid agencies hand out relief to people displaced by Boko Haram. Photo: IRIN/Aminu Abubakar

23 May 2014 – The United Nations Security Council has added Boko Haram, the Nigerian militant group that has claimed responsibility for the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls in mid-April, to its list of Al-Qaida associates subject to financial sanctions and an arms embargo.

In its designation, the Council’s Al Qaida Sanctions Committee listed the Islamist group, the name of which roughly translates as “Western education is a sin,” as an affiliate of AQIM, the Organization of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, and named its leader as Abubakar Shekau.

In addition to targeting schools such as the one in Chibok where the girls were abducted, raising a global outcry, Boko Haram has carried out numerous attacks in recent years against police, religious leaders, politicians and public and international institutions, indiscriminately killing civilians and sacking entire towns.

The UN has prepared an integrated support package for the victims and families of the mass abduction, following the visit of a high-level representative of the Secretary-General to Nigeria from 12 to 15 May.

An updated Al Qaida sanctions list is available from the Committee’s website.


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