United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, said on Thursday that Boko Haram terrorists are created and not born.
Mohammed made the remarks while speaking on the Security Council’s recent trip to the Lake Chad Basin for on-the-spot assessment of the Boko Haram crisis.
“As the Deputy Secretary-General, as an African and as a Nigerian, I truly welcome the Council’s visit to the Lake Chad Basin to witness first-hand the impact of the Boko Haram insurgency.
Even more so that, as a child, I grew up in Maiduguri and know that terrorists are not born but created by a set of circumstances.
The Security Council’s field visits around the world have been instrumental in highlighting the links between peace, development and human rights.
I thank you for the much-needed attention you have now brought to this troubled region.
The Lake Chad crisis provides a powerful illustration of the complex multi-dimensional challenges facing our modern world.
A successful response requires mobilising our assets holistically to implement the 2030 Agenda and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” she said.
She said the UN is focused on six main pillars of engagement namely, political; humanitarian assistance; human rights; recovery and development; justice, law enforcement and the financing of terrorism; and technical support to the regional Multinational Joint Task Force.
“Three other dimensions are being added: gender; defections; and surrenders by Boko Haram militants, and that has its own challenges given the number of youth and young girls.
And support to Member States to develop a regional plan of action to prevent violent extremism.
It is essential that we address the Boko Haram crisis in a holistic manner. This means looking beyond the security lens and addressing the root causes, including inequality, exclusion and the full array of economic, social, political, cultural and religious grievances,” she said.
According to her, the UN continues through the efforts the Secretary-General’s Special Representatives for Central Africa and West Africa and the Sahel, to encourage Member States and the regional leadership to convene a Joint Summit on Boko Haram.
“We and this Council are keenly aware of the deteriorating humanitarian and human rights situation which has displaced millions of people in the region. Some 10.7 million people in the Lake Chad Basin need humanitarian assistance now. More than 7 million require food support, including 515,000 children with severe acute malnutrition. Drought is inevitable, and there is a real risk of famine, which can be averted with the urgent action that we need now,” she said.
The Deputy UN scribe said the World Food Programme had reaching more than one million people in northeast and UNICEF had assisted four million people with basic services.
Mohammed said that despite the considerable contribution of the recent Oslo Donor Conference, demands outstrip resources, Member States need to ensure the 1.5 billion-dollar humanitarian appeal for the Lake Chad region is fully funded.
She implored affected governments to ensure full, safe and unimpeded access to all affected areas and populations.
Mohammed said prevention of future radicalisation and violence will also entail comprehensive responses that benefit all members of society, especially marginalised communities and youth.
“I was in Bama just three weeks ago where we have one of the largest camps and to see how children were thriving with the opportunity of education – not in the right circumstances. But certainly that transition that UNICEF was able to provide was certainly a sign of hope and one that we need to invest in.”
Photo Credit: Twitter – @AminaJMohammed