Monday, 30 January 2012

Boko Haram: UN, AU support Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday received the support of the United Nations and the African Union Commission in his administration’s bid to put an end to the violence unleashed on the country, especially in the North, by members of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram.

The UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon; and the AUC chairperson, Dr. Jean Ping, gave Jonathan the bodies’ backing in their separate remarks at the opening of the 18th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Ki-Moon said the UN was working closely with the AU to address terrorism, illicit drug trafficking and the rise of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, all of which he called transnational challenges in West Africa.
He said, “With respect to Nigeria, I am deeply troubled by the indiscriminate and unacceptable violent attacks. No cause justifies terror.
“We stand in solidarity with the authorities and the people of Nigeria for democratic and accountable governance.”
The UN scribe urged African leaders to adopt a preventive approach to human rights, saying the Arab Spring took many by surprise with traditional indicators showing that the countries were stable or doing well.
He said below the surface of the indicators, there were deprivation, exclusion and abuse, among others.
“Events have proved that repression is a dead end. Police power is no match for people power seeking dignity and justice.
“The women and men protesting in streets and public squares across the region are both an inspiration and a reminder.
“A reminder that leaders must listen to their people, that all of us must do more,” he added.
Ki-Moon said though trade and investment were crucial for development, Africa’s future also depended on investments in civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.
He identified one form of discrimination which, he said, had been ignored or even sanctioned by many states for too long as discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Ping, on his part, regretted that over the past months, the continent has witnessed a resurgence of terrorism, particularly in Nigeria.
“I take this opportunity to reiterate the strong condemnation by the AU of the criminal attacks perpetrated by Boko Haram and other terrorist groups, and to reiterate our support for the efforts of the government of Nigeria,” he said.
He said although considerable progress had been made in the areas of creating an atmosphere of peace in the continent, there was still a long way to go in order to fully live up to the commitments made.
He said the violence and contestations which often mark elections in Africa remind the people of the continent this fact, sometimes in a tragic manner.

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