The United Nations Security Council al Qaeda Sanctions Committee has on Thursday blacklisted Islamist group Boko Haram after the insurgents kidnapped nearly 300 girls from a Chibok secondary school.
The sanctions on the sect include an international asset freeze, travel ban and arms embargo.
In the council committee’s list of individuals and groups associated with Al Qaida, Boko Haram recorded as “affiliate of Al-Qaida, and the Organization of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Associated with and Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis-Sudan (Ansaru).”
Nigeria had formally asked the council committee to blacklist the Islamist Boko Haram on May 21. The Nigerian mission to the United Nations said that the Boko Haram listing request had been “necessitated by the recent upsurge in its activities, particularly in northeast Nigeria”.
“By adding Boko Haram to the U.N.’s 1267 (al Qaeda) sanctions list, the Security Council has helped to close off important avenues of funding, travel and weapons to Boko Haram, and shown global unity against their savage actions,” US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said in a statement.
The militant Islamist group Boko Haram, which in the Hausa language means “Western education is forbidden”, was created 12 years ago. It demands the creation of an Islamic state in the largely Muslim northern Nigeria.
More than 4,000 people were killed in Boko Haram atrocities since 2009. The group carries out most of its attacks which include bombings, assassinations and abductions in the northeast Nigerian states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.
One of the most recent attacks occurred on May 20 when the suspected group members killed 17 residents of Alagarno village, Borno State. On May 22, unknown gunmen, suspected to be Boko Haram insurgents, attacked Gumboru Ngala town, Borno State, leaving dead at least 27 people.
It’s been more than a month since Boko Haram have kidnapped nearly 300 students from the dormitories of the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok. Some of the hostages escaped, while 234 girls remain missing. On May 12 the insurgents released a video showing 137 of the abducted girls, threatening to sell them so slavery. The girls are believed to be kept inside Sambisa forest, the stronghold of the radical group.
People from all over the world have staged protests demanding to #BringBackOurGirls. Today, a group of 2,000 protesters was marching on the presidential villa in Abuja. Although the Federal Government representatives met with the demonstrators, the latter stated their requests had not been addressed. They said they would demand another meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan.