UN urged to act over Nigerian hostage girls

UN urged to act over Nigerian hostage girls

A leading Nigerian rights group is urging the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on Islamic extremists who abducted 276 schoolgirls, saying concern and condemnation are not enough.

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project said it is time for the council to “act decisively”. The cost of inaction is “too high to contemplate”, they said.

It comes as more experts are expected in Nigeria to help in the search, including US hostage negotiators.

Nigeria’s government belatedly accepted offers of help this week from the United States, Britain, France, China and Spain amid mounting national and international outrage at its failure to rescue the girls abducted by Boko Haram militants from a north-eastern school on April 15.

The militants are threatening to sell the girls into slavery.

Today’s call for action adds to the growing condemnation by Muslims in Nigeria and abroad against the Boko Haram terrorist network and its acts.

Former Nigerian military ruler General Ibrahim Babangida urged the country’s Muslims to rise up against the extremists sullying the name of Islam.

“Islam enjoins you to live peacefully with fellow human beings. … Therefore, anybody who will come and smear our name, all Muslims should kick against that. Muslims should also do everything possible to stop this continued blackmail against the religion of Islam. We must prepare to fight it,” he said in an interview today with the BBC Hausa Service. Hausa is the most popular language in northern Nigeria.