Thursday, August 10, 2017 9:54 pm
The African Union (AU) has called for more international collaborations and supports to address the huge humanitarian challenges caused by the Boko Haram crisis.
Amb. Tete Antonio, Permanent Observer of AU, made the call at the Security Council briefing on `Peace and Security in Africa: Joint UN-AU High-level Solidarity Mission’.
Antonio, in his remarks, said the dire humanitarian challenges experienced in the North-East Nigeria, East and Kasai regions of DRC had significantly impacted on the well-being of communities, particularly of women and girls.
“Armed groups, such as Boko Haram, are increasingly using young girls, as agents of violence and suicide bombers.
“Just days before the visit of the Joint UN-AU delegation to Maiduguri, four Boko Haram suicide bombers killed 19 people in a series of attacks; it was later reported that one of the four suicide bombers was a young woman.
“In order to curtail this worrisome trend, there is need to support women’s social and economic empowerment to avoid marginalisation that can lead to exclusion and radicalisation.
“To date, there is no other solution but to effectively and rapidly meet the changing conflict patterns and dire consequences on vulnerable populations, in the face of transnational actors that are constantly changing their modus operandi.
“In this regard, the African Union strongly condemns the continuing violations of women and children’s rights, the erosion of their well-being and all forms of violence perpetrated against them in conflict affected countries, or emerging from conflict,’’ he said.
António said the AU will continue to support the rehabilitation and empowerment of IDPs and survivors of sexual violence.
“In the context of the Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin region held last February, the AU Peace and Security Council, in its session on July 19, 2017, called on the international community to provide the necessary assistance.
“The assistance commensurate to the needs of affected people in humanitarian emergencies and to a rapid disbursement of pledges made, in order to alleviate the current humanitarian crisis.
“In this spirit, the African Union commends the new UN humanitarian fund of over 10.5 million dollars allocated to help women, children and men in need of life-saving humanitarian assistance in line with the Nigeria Humanitarian fund,’’ he said.
Nigeria is expected to address the Council on the humanitarian situation in the Northeast later on Thursday.