Wednesday, March 25, 2015 10:46 pm
Chad’s UN envoy on Wednesday voiced frustration over Security Council inaction on endorsing a regional force fighting Boko Haram, arguing that the Nigerian extremists are “more dangerous” than Islamic State fighters.
Ambassador Mahamat Cherif told reporters that a draft resolution circulated last week to the 15-member council had hit a wall over a key provision invoking chapter 7 of the UN charter.
“I think Boko Haram is more dangerous than ISIS,” said Cherif, using the acronym for the Islamic State group sowing violence and fear in Syria and Iraq.
“What we do for ISIS, we should do against Boko Haram.”
Chapter 7 allows member states to use all possible means to enforce a resolution including economic sanctions and military force to confront a threat to world peace and security.
Diplomats told AFP that Nigeria had balked at the provision, dealing a major setback to weeks of negotiations on the draft resolution that would also set up a trust fund to help finance the regional force’s operations.
Cherif acknowledged that a vote on the measure was not imminent.
Nigeria’s mission to the United Nations could not be immediately reached for comment, but diplomats speculated that the elections on Saturday may have played a role in the about-face.
“The international community recognizes Boko Haram as a threat to international peace and security,” Cherif argued.
“In Damasak, the last town liberated by Chad and Nigeria, we found a mass grave. I think it’s very serious.”
Boko Haram, which has been listed by the United Nations as a terror group, pledged allegiance to IS earlier this month, heightening concerns after the extremists expanded their campaign to neighboring countries.
The African Union has set up the five-nation force of 8,700 troops to defeat Boko Haram, which has killed more than 13,000 people over the past seven years and shocked the world with the abduction of 276 schoolgirls in April last year.
Chad is playing a leading role in the regional force, alongside Nigeria, Cameroon, Benin and Niger.
Drafted by Chad, Nigeria and Angola, the text before the Security Council would provide for endorsement of the regional force and threaten sanctions to punish Boko Haram supporters.