International Force Underway To Fight Boko Haram


•AU proposes 7500 strong force

THE Federal Government’s insistence that it does not need international force to tackle effectively the Boko Haram menace notwithstanding, the like hood of a deployment of such to fight the insurgents brightened Friday during the opening of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

To further lend backing to the option were no less personalities than the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and AU Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Also, international groups including the New York- based Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans, CANAN, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have all called for a greater international approach to the fight the terrorists.

The U.S. government earlier this week at a Congressional hearing also formally supported the call for an international force to deal with the situation which is now known to have developed into a threat not just to Nigeria’s peace, but a threat to international peace.

In his remarks at the Summit, the UN scribe said Friday that “I am encouraged by progress towards the African Standby Force and the African capacity for crisis response. I urge you to make these mechanisms operational.”

Earlier at the ministerial level, the AU Chairperson had proposed the authorisation of about 7500 troops to form the Multi-National Joint Task Force, MNJTF to confront Boko Haram whose attacks have now spread beyond Nigeria to Cameroon and Chad among others on the Nigerian Northeastern borders.

According to Ban in the statement read in Addis Ababa and released at the UN headquarters here in New York, “terrorism knows no boundaries and affects African countries in the Horn, the Sahel and elsewhere.”

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