Security Council Presidential Statement Demands Cessation of Hostilities by Boko Haram in Nigeria, Release of Hostages, Including 276 Girls Abducted in April

19 January 2015
SC/11742

Security Council Presidential Statement Demands Cessation of Hostilities by Boko Haram in Nigeria, Release of Hostages, Including 276 Girls Abducted in April

7362nd Meeting (Night)

Condemning in the strongest terms the escalation of attacks perpetrated by Boko Haram in Nigeria and concerned about the growing humanitarian crisis and large-scale displacement of Nigerians, the Security Council demanded that the terrorist group “immediately and unequivocally” cease all hostilities, and without condition, release all hostages, including the 276 girls abducted in April.

On behalf of the 15-member body, Cristián Barros Melet of Chile, whose delegation holds the January Council presidency, read out a presidential statement strongly condemning and deploring all human rights abuses by Boko Haram since 2009, including those involving violence against civilian populations, notably women and children, kidnappings, killings, hostage-taking, pillaging, rape, sexual slavery and other sexual violence, recruitment of children and destruction of civilian property.  It recalled its decision to place Boko Haram on the Al-Qaida Sanctions List.

Expressing deep concern that Boko Haram’s actions were undermining peace and stability in West and Central Africa, the Council welcomed plans for a regional meeting in Niamey, Niger, next week to discuss a collective response to threats posed by the terrorists.  The Council urged Lake Chad Basin Commission member States and Benin to undertake further planning towards a sustainable, viable and effective Multinational Joint Task Force and to identify means of deployment, especially in the areas of intelligence sharing and operations.

The Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations was criminal and unjustifiable and that it should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group.  It expressed deep sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims of the attacks and to the people and Government of Nigeria and other affected countries.

The body also underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of those reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice in accordance with international law and relevant Security Council resolutions.

The meeting began at 6 p.m. and ended at 6:15 p.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2015/4 reads as follows:

“The Security Council condemns in the strongest terms the most recent escalation in attacks perpetrated by Boko Haram, in particular, the 10 and 11 January 2015 suicide bombings in Maiduguri, Borno State and Potiskum, Yobe State, reportedly involving children coerced by Boko Haram to act as suicide bombers, the 3-7 January 2015 attacks in Baga, Borno State, which resulted in the massive destruction of civilian homes and significant civilian casualties, as well as the increasing attacks in the Lake Chad Basin region along Nigeria’s borders with Chad and Cameroon and in the northern provinces of Cameroon.

“The Security Council reaffirms that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations is criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of its motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.  The Security Council reaffirms that terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group.

“The Security Council expresses its deep sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and expresses its sympathy to all those injured in these attacks, and to the people and the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as well as the people and Governments of other affected countries.

“The Security Council strongly condemns and deplores all abuses of human rights, and where applicable, violations of international humanitarian law by the terrorist group Boko Haram, since 2009, including those involving violence against civilian populations, notably women and children, kidnappings, killings, hostage-taking, pillaging, rape, sexual slavery and other sexual violence, recruitment of children and destruction of civilian property.  The Security Council expresses serious concern over the reported violations and abuses of human rights and large-scale displacements of civilian population, including into Nigeria’s neighbouring countries.  The Security Council recalls its decision to place Boko Haram on the Al-Qaida Sanctions List.

“The Security Council demands that Boko Haram immediately and unequivocally cease all hostilities and all abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, and disarm and demobilize.  The Security Council demands the immediate and unconditional release of all those abducted who remain in captivity, including the 276 schoolgirls abducted in Chibok, Borno State, in April 2014.  The Security Council recognizes that some of such acts may amount to crimes against humanity and stresses that those responsible for all abuses and violations of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law must be held accountable.  The Security Council reiterates the primary responsibility of Member States to protect civilian populations on their territories, in accordance with their obligations under international law.

“The Security Council expresses its concern at the scale of the growing humanitarian crisis caused by the activities of Boko Haram, which has resulted in the large-scale displacement of Nigerians within the country and into neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger. The Security Council, in this regard, commends the support provided to the refugees by the Governments of the said countries, including with the assistance of humanitarian actors and relevant United Nations entities, and calls on the international community to provide its support in areas which require urgent attention.

“The Security Council expresses deep concern that the activities of Boko Haram are undermining the peace and stability of the West and Central African region.

“The Security Council takes note of the outcome of the 17 May 2014 Paris Summit, which underscored the commitment of the countries in the Lake Chad Basin region, including with the support of bilateral and multilateral partners, to enhance information sharing, coordination and joint operations, to more effectively combat Boko Haram, as well as the outcomes of the follow-up London and Abuja ministerial meetings.  The Security Council also takes note of the 7 October 2014 communiqué of the Extraordinary Summit of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) Heads of State, as well as the 25 November 2014 communiqué of the African Union Peace and Security Council on the efforts of the LCBC Member States and Benin to combat Boko Haram.

“The Security Council takes note of the decision of the LCBC Member States and Benin to operationalize the Multinational Joint Task Force, including through the establishment of a joint Headquarters and the deployment of national contingents, to conduct military operations against Boko Haram.

“The Security Council welcomes plans for a regional meeting in Niamey, Niger, on 20 January 2015 to discuss the regional response to the threat posed by Boko Haram.  The Security Council urges the LCBC Member States and Benin to undertake further planning towards the sustainable, viable and effective operationalization of the Multinational Joint Task Force.  The Security Council, in this regard, urges them to identify the means and modalities of the envisaged deployment, especially in the areas of intelligence-sharing and joint operations.

“The Security Council welcomes the assistance to the States in the region already being provided by bilateral and multilateral partners and encourages them to increase support to enhance the operational capacity of the Multinational Joint Task Force, including through the provision of financial and logistical assistance, relevant equipment and of modalities to increase effective intelligence-sharing to further the region’s collective efforts to combat Boko Haram more effectively.  The Security Council underlines that all operations of the Multinational Joint Task Force must be conducted in full compliance with international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights law.

“The Security Council takes note of the communiqué of the Government of Chad, issued on 14 January 2015, which pledged active support in the fight against Boko Haram.  The Security Council welcomes the vote by the National Assembly of Chad on 16 January 2015, which authorized Chadian armed troops and security forces to assist Cameroonian and Nigerian soldiers in the fight against Boko Haram terrorists.

“The Security Council underlines the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice in accordance with international law and relevant Security Council resolutions.”

For information media. Not an official record.