AU considers deployment of task force to address Boko Haram threat

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Said Djinnit. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

A decision made by the African Union to consider deploying a regional security force to address the threat of Boko Haram has been welcomed by the UN Special Envoy for West Africa.

Said Djinnit made the remarks on Tuesday as he briefed the Security Council on the activities of the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA) which he heads.

Boko Haram, a Nigeria militant group and Al-Qaida affiliate, has claimed responsibility for the abduction of nearly 300 school girls in Chibok, Nigeria.

In the last two weeks, deplored Mr Djinnit, innocent civilians have died and many others have fled their homes in 18 attacks led by the terrorist group in the north of Nigeria.

"With the growing insecurity in the north-east of the country coupled with the political tensions and divisions in the lead up to the 2015 general elections, Nigeria is at a crossroads. It is therefore critical in my view, that the Council members continue to lend their support to efforts and initiatives aimed at preserving stability in Nigeria which have in the few decades played a prominent role in the maintenance of regional and global peace and security."

Mr Djinnit said he hoped this task force would build on the initial steps taken by the countries of the Lake Chad Basin who are already in talks to form a joint task force to combat regional crimes and cross-border attacks.

The Special Envoy will soon travel to Nigeria to follow up on the progress made by the UN team and the government for the safe release of the school girls.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’39″

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