Security Council Presidential Statement Condemns Boko Haram Terrorist Attacks in Lake Chad Basin, Demanding Immediate Halt to Violence, Human Rights Abuses

SC/12363
13 May 2016
7692nd Meeting (PM)

Security Council Presidential Statement Condemns Boko Haram Terrorist Attacks in Lake Chad Basin, Demanding Immediate Halt to Violence, Human Rights Abuses

The Security Council today demanded that Boko Haram immediately halt all violence and all abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, as it strongly condemned the group’s terrorist attacks in the Lake Chad Basin region and expressed deep concern that its activities were undermining peace and stability in West and Central Africa.

Issuing presidential statement S/PRST/2016/7 on the eve of a regional security summit in Abuja, the 15-member Council — expressing alarm at Boko Haram’s linkages with Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) — also demanded the immediate release of the group’s reported thousands of captives, including 219 schoolgirls abducted in Chibok, in Nigeria’s Borno State, in April 2014.

It expressed deep concern at the scale of the humanitarian crisis caused by Boko Haram’s activities, including the internal displacement of more than 2.2 million Nigerians and over 450,000 internally-displaced persons and refugees in Cameroon, Chad and Niger.  Noting that an estimated 4.2 million people in the Lake Chad Basin region faced a food security crisis, it urged the international community to immediately support the provision of urgent humanitarian aid — noting however that only 10 per cent of the $531 million needed to fulfil such assistance had been received this year.

Commending important territorial advances against Boko Haram by the Governments of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, the Council urged Member States taking part in the Multinational Joint Task Force to enhance regional cooperation so as to consolidate military gains, deny safe haven to Boko Haram, allow humanitarian access and facilitate the restoration of the rule of law.

It welcomed the President of Nigeria’s initiative in convening the Second Regional Security Summit, to be held on 14 May in Abuja, to evaluate the regional response to the threat posed by Boko Haram, and encouraged the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), in coordination with the African Union, to accelerate joint efforts towards a common strategy to combat the group.

Stressing that terrorism could only be defeated by a sustained and comprehensive approach involving all States and international, regional and subregional organizations, the Council underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of terrorism to justice.  It also urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and Security Council resolutions, to cooperate with all relevant authorities in that regard.

The meeting began at 3:09 p.m. and ended at 3:11 p.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2016/7 reads as follows:

“The Security Council strongly condemns all terrorist attacks, abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law by Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin region, including those involving killings and other violence against civilians, notably women and children, abductions, pillaging, rape, sexual slavery and other sexual violence, recruitment and use 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 displacement of the civilian population across the Lake Chad Basin region as a result of Boko Haram’s activities.  The Security Council stresses that those responsible for these abuses and violations of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law must be held accountable and brought to justice.

“The Security Council expresses deep concern that the activities of Boko Haram continue to undermine the peace and stability of the West and Central African region.  The Security Council expresses alarm at Boko Haram’s linkages with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh).

“The Security Council demands that Boko Haram immediately and unequivocally cease all violence and all abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law.  The Security Council demands the immediate and unconditional release of all those abducted who remain in captivity, including 219 schoolgirls abducted in Chibok, Borno State, Nigeria, in April 2014 among the reported thousands of others held captive by Boko Haram.  The Security Council recognizes that some of such acts may amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes.

“The Security Council expresses deep concern at the alarming scale of the humanitarian crisis caused by the activities of Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin region, including the internal displacement of more than 2.2 million Nigerians, and over 450,000 internally displaced persons and refugees in neighboring Cameroon, Chad and Niger.  The Security Council notes that an estimated 4.2 million people in the Lake Chad Basin region face a food security crisis, including 800,000 in Borno and Yobe States, Nigeria, where an estimated 184 children a day risk starvation without the immediate provision of emergency food assistance.  The Security Council commends the support provided to the displaced populations by the international community, in particular the people and governments of the Lake Chad Basin region, including with the assistance of humanitarian actors and relevant United Nations entities.  The Security Council urges the international community to immediately support the provision of urgent humanitarian assistance for the people most affected by the crisis in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria and notes that approximately 10 per cent of the $531 million required to fulfil such assistance has been received this year.

“The Security Council commends the important territorial advances by the governments of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria against Boko Haram, including through the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) headquartered in N’Djamena, Chad.  The Security Council urges the Member States participating in the MNJTF to further enhance regional military cooperation and coordination, particularly to consolidate military gains, deny safe haven to Boko Haram, allow humanitarian access and facilitate the restoration of the rule of law in liberated areas.  The Security Council underscores the importance of a holistic approach to degrade and defeat Boko Haram that includes coordinated security operations, conducted in accordance with applicable international law, as well as enhanced civilian efforts to improve governance and promote economic growth in the affected areas.

“The Security Council welcomes the crucial initiative of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr. Muhammadu Buhari, to convene the second Regional Security Summit on 14 May 2016 in Abuja, Nigeria, to evaluate the regional response to the threat posed by Boko Haram, including with a view to adopt a comprehensive strategy to address the governance, security, development, socioeconomic and humanitarian dimensions of the crisis, as a follow-up to the Paris Summit of 17 May 2014, which aimed to strengthen regional cooperation between Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, as well as Benin in the fight against Boko Haram.

“The Security Council encourages the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), in coordination with the African Union, to accelerate joint efforts to adopt a common strategy to combat the threat posed by Boko Haram.

“The Security Council urges the Member States participating in the MNJTF to continue efforts towards the sustainable, viable and effective operationalization of the MNJTF.  In this regard, the Security Council welcomes the assistance provided by bilateral partners and multilateral organizations and encourages further support, including the provision of financial and logistical assistance, relevant equipment and modalities to increase the timely and effective exchange of intelligence to further the region’s collective efforts to combat Boko Haram.

“The Security Council stresses the need for Member States in the Lake Chad Basin region to complement the regional military and security operations against Boko Haram by national and regional efforts, with the assistance of bilateral partners and multilateral organizations, to improve livelihoods, provide humanitarian assistance to displaced and other conflict-affected populations, promote education and job creation, consolidate the rule of law, facilitate stabilization efforts, reconstruction, development and economic recovery, assist victims and vulnerable populations, prevent illicit trafficking of weapons to armed groups and criminal networks, as well as to strengthen measures to protect civilians and promote and protect human rights, particularly of women and children.  The Security Council calls on relevant United Nations entities, including the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) and the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), to support, as appropriate, the Member States of the region, as well as subregional and regional organizations to address the impact of Boko Haram violence on the peace and stability of the region.

“The Security Council reiterates that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.  The Security Council reaffirms the need for all States to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and their other obligations under international law, including international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.  The Security Council stresses that terrorism can only be defeated by a sustained and comprehensive approach involving the active participation and collaboration of all States and international, regional and subregional organizations to counter the terrorist threat.

“The Security Council underlines the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice and stresses that those responsible should be held accountable, and urges all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with all relevant authorities in this regard.

“The Security Council underlines the importance of prompt and effective implementation of its relevant resolutions and statements related to the fight against terrorism, and recalls in this regard among others its resolutions 1373 (2001), 1624 (2005), 2178 (2014) and 2253 (2015), as well as the Presidential Statement of 11 May 2016 (S/PRST/2016/6), which, inter alia, recognizes the importance of countering terrorism and recruitment by terrorist organizations.”

For information media. Not an official record.