United Nations, March 31: Top UN officials have briefed the Security Council on the impact of Boko Haram in Nigeria and beyond, warning of the groups intensified violence and brutality.
“Though weakened, the group continues to commit horrendous acts against civilians, including women and children,” Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the special representative of the secretary-general and head of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA), said on Monday.
“Boko Harams recent allegiance to the Da’esh (Islamic State or IS) whether for publicity reasons or to tap into IS’s support, is also of concern as it gives a clear signal that Boko Harams agenda goes well beyond Nigeria,” he said.
Chambas, who was joined in the Council by Assistant Secretary-General Kyung Wha-Kang of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, outlined reports of the abduction, abuse, recruiting, maiming and killing of children, saying schools in the countrys north-east and in areas of Cameroon and Niger targeted by Boko Haram are no longer safe places of learning, with many attacked, looted, and destroyed.
“In 2014, the group also commenced using young girls as suicide bombers for attacks in populated urban areas,” he said. “We have also observed an alarming trend of children being used by the group as human shields.”
Kang described the humanitarian needs arising from Boko Haram attacks, saying that more than 7,300 civilians have been killed by Boko Haram since the beginning of 2014 in the three state of emergency states, including 1,000 people this year alone.