BY ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, yesterday urged the United Nations, UN Security Council to go beyond mere expression of concern over the plight of school children seized by armed groups, as well as those affected by violence from Boko Haram insurgency.
In a statement by its executive director, Mr Adetokunbo Mumuni, it is now time for the Council to act decisively against Boko Haram by imposing “targeted sanctions against them and their backers to end persistent attacks against children and other civilians.”
SERAP stated: “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.
According to the group, the suggested action is consistent with the 2012 ‘Resolution 2068’ of the Council.
It said, “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.”
It further said, “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.”
It noted, “Sanctions send a powerful signal to the perpetrators and contribute to greater compliance with the Council’s agenda on children in armed conflict.”