UN: Anti-Boko Haram War Needs Funding

As Nigeria continues to win the fight against Boko Haram, the United Nations has accused the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram of what they called the “almost unimaginable” violence and brutality in Nigeria.

The UN humanitarian co-ordinator, Stephen O’Brien said the actions of Boko Haram had forced thousands to flee and left unprecedented numbers in need. The UN in its estimate says that more than nine million people in the regions affected by Boko Haram need humanitarian assistance. Mr O’Brien told the UN Security Council that Nigeria was bearing “the brunt of the crisis”, with Nigerians accounting for seven of the nine million people in need.

In his speech he also said that Boko Haram’s “heinous, barbaric and unconscionable” violence had led to serious human rights violations in the country. “From January to June 2016, more than 50 children have been coerced to carry out suicide bombings across the four countries,” he said.

Also speaking on the same matter, UN political chief Jeffrey Feltman said Boko Haram remained a threat to stability in the region, despite the group being pushed back from some areas. Both Feltman and O’Brien warned the council that the fight against the group was suffering from a lack of funding.

The militant group continues to target countries in the region, including Nigeria and Cameroon, with bomb and suicide attacks. The UN’s children’s agency UNICEF warned last week that almost 250,000 children in parts of Nigeria’s Borno state, formerly controlled by Boko Haram, were suffering from severe malnutrition.

Recently, Mr Taleb Rifai, secretary-general of the UN World Tourism Agency (UNWTO), said he saw positive signs in Nigeria. He also hailed the demonstration of political will by the Nigerian government to move tourism forward in the country. “There is the existence of political will and we can feel it from outside (the country),” Mr Rifai said on Wednesday, 27, 2016 at the opening of a two-day meeting with the minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in Madrid, Spain. “Anyone who is interested in Nigeria will know the positive development that has taken place (in the country),” he said, adding that there is the need to “tell this story to the world.”