Boko Haram: UN to make peace platform available to Nigeria

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ABUJA—The United Nations, UN, has pledged to make its peace keeping platform available to Nigeria as it fights Boko Haram in the north eastern part of the country.

Niger Republic also approved sending troops to Nigeria to fight the terrorists, yesterday.

Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Nigeria and West Africa, Mr. Ibn Chambas, who spoke with journalists after he met with President Goodluck Jonathan, said there would be a UN support through the Department of Peacekeeping to ensure that the different countries, who are contributing troops, all work as one and get their efforts towards degrading and eliminating Boko Haram.

According to him, “in this, you can count on the strong support of the United Nations. The Secretary General wishes to assure that in the area of humanitarian support with the displaced persons in Nigeria, we will continue to work with Nigerian authorities.

“The Secretary-General expresses strong support in the fight against Boko Haram. The sect is not a threat only to Nigeria or the region, but indeed is an international issue, and requires full international support in the same way the fight is taken against Al-Shabab, ISIS and AQIM, in North Mali.

“The president has assured that full material and logistical support would be provided to NEMA, the UN systems and other partners would work with NEMA.

“We hope that through our joint efforts, we will be able to bring some respite to the lives of the people who have been internally displaced as a result of the barbaric and cruel action of Boko Haram.”

On elections

Speaking on the preparation for the forthcoming elections in Nigeria, Mr. Chambas said: “We appreciate the pure manner in which the electoral process is proceeding. The Secretary General commends the President and other political leaders to continue on that part.

“We have seen that the postponement has been accepted by all the political parties and stakeholders. The reasons adduced are known now. Of course, in some states it is clear that very few people have been able to collect their PVCs.”

He noted that the extension provided an opportunity for many more Nigerians to collect their PVCs and be able to exercise theirfranchise.

He said: “The Secretary-General told me to commend Mr. President and other leaders of the political parties and Nigerians as a whole for the maturity that had been demonstrated so far in this whole preparation towards the general elections.

“We saw, first of all, the primaries which held in a very calm and peaceful manner. The campaigns started and again, Nigerians have demonstrated a lot of maturity.

“Naturally, in periods such as this, there will be heightened tension and heightened rhetoric. But on the whole, we have very little violence associated with this process.

“This is the same also with the postponement, where there were a lot of speculations about what will happen. But so far, this process has been calm, peaceful and credible.”

Meanwhile, Niger Republic parliament voted unanimously, Monday, to send 750 troops to Nigeria to join a regional fight against Boko Haram.

On Saturday, Nigeria and its neighbours— Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Benin— agreed to muster 8,700 troops, police and civilians for a wider, African Union-backed force against Boko Haram.

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