PRESIDENT of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, Amb Kodjo Menen has said that there could be a strong connection between Boko Haram and criminal actors in the West Africa region.
Addressing journalists recently in New York on the schedule of the Council for February, the Permanent Representative of Togo who is the president of the UN Security Council noted that the issue of Boko Haram in Nigeria would be included as the Council looks at the impact of transnational organized crime on peace, security and stability in West Africa during one of its open debates this month.
“The possibility that the terrorist groups Boko Haram and Al-Qaida in the Islamic Magreb (AQIM) had contact with criminal actors in the region,” the UN Council president and Ambassador was quoted in a statement by the UN.
He added that the effects of piracy and organized crime went far beyond borders and were linked to many security and economic challenges, such as the proliferation of arms and illicit drugs, disclosing that all these would be a major topic to be addressed by the Council through an open debate on 21 February.
While members of the Un Security Council held open debates, other UN member-states who are not on the Council are also allowed to contribute since it is an open debate. It is not yet known whether Nigeria, seen as a major country in the region had indicated interest to speak at such a debate, which will discuss Boko Haram.
Recently also, in a statement, the Council had linked the Boko Haram to the fallouts of the Libyan crisis.
According the Council “Arms proliferation, and large-scale influx of returnees from Libya, exacerbated long-standing and serious problems including terrorist activities by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Boko Haram, transnational organized crime including illicit drug trafficking, recurrent food crises and lack of development in vulnerable remote areas.”
Apart from that, the Council would also hold another open debate on women and peace and security on 23 February.