Congo calls for unity to defeat Boko Haram "scourge"

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Civilians in north-eastern Nigeria search for Boko Haram suspects. Photo: Obinna Anyadike/IRIN

High-level diplomacy continued Thursday at the UN in Geneva at the UN's Human Rights Council, with Congo adding its weight to the call for West African states to unite against Boko Haram separatists.

Ambassador Basile Ikouebe described the Nigerian militants as a "scourge" and said they could only defeated by a combined military effort involving west African states.

His comments echo those by states neighbouring Nigeria that are affected by Boko Haram including Niger and Cameroon. Daniel Johnson has more.

Addressing delegates at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Congo Ambassador Ikouebe said that west African states were planning their response to Boko Haram after meeting in Cameroon.

He described the Nigerian insurgents as a threat that went beyond Niger, Cameroon and Chad – the countries bordering Nigeria.

"With regard to Boko Haram, it is only by combining our efforts that we will be able to overcome this scourge which is a source of serious threats to peace and security in Africa and beyond."

The country's Minister for Foreign Affairs also spoke out against the "abominable crimes" committed in Central African Republic, which has been gripped by years of ethnic violence.

But he expressed hope that the upcoming international meeting in Congo's capital, Brazzaville, would provide an opportunity to mobilise resources to finance elections in the troubled state.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations.

Duration: 1"00

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