May 11, 2014
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the UN Security Council to “move swiftly to impose targeted sanctions against Boko Haram and their backers to end persistent attacks against children and other civilians.”
In a statement dated 11 May 2014 and signed by SERAP executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni, the organization said that, “By its Resolution 2068 (2012), the UN Security Council has stated its readiness to adopt targeted sanctions against armed groups like Boko Haram that persistently violate the rights of children in armed conflict, including through abduction and attacks on schools.”
“With over 200 Chibok schoolgirls still missing having been abducted by Boko Hamam, now is the time for the Council to show that it can deliver on its mandate and implement its resolution when it matters most,” the group said.
“Sanctions send a powerful signal to the perpetrators and contribute to greater compliance with the Council’s agenda on children in armed conflict,” the group added.
According to the group, “The Council should consider a broad range of options for increasing pressure on Boko Haram and their backers if it is to contribute to stemming the persistent abuse of children by the extremist group, and assist Nigeria in the fight against terrorism. This will certainly increase international action against the impunity with which Boko Haram operates, and may be the turning point to secure the safe return of the missing schoolgirls.”
“The suggested action is entirely consistent with Resolution 2068. This resolution reiterates the primary responsibility of the Council for the maintenance of international peace and security and its commitment to address the widespread impact of armed conflict on children,” the group also said.
The group also said that, “But it is not enough for the Council to express concern over the plight of children remaining in the grip of armed groups, as well as those affected by violence. It is now time for the Council to act decisively against the Boko Haram. The cost of inaction is simply too high to contemplate. Taking strong action would send a strong signal that the resolutions of the Council are not only words on paper, and that vigorous action can be taken when they are not implemented.”
“The future of these missing schoolgirls hang in a balance. The Council should not leave them to fend for themselves. It should send a message that it will not turn away. Any child that the Council saves from the scourge of armed conflict represents hope for a better future. Accountability remains an integral element both to address and prevent violations against children. It should begin with targeted sanctions against Boko Haram and their backers,” the group further stated.
According to the group, “The Council should work with the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on this initiative. The Council must reaffirm its willingness to act, while also emphasizing the government’s responsibility to end impunity and prosecute the perpetrators.”