UN Human Rights Office researches abuses of Boko Haram

The UN Human Rights Office has dispatched a team of human rights officers to look into abuses and violations meted out by the insurgency group Boko Haram.

“We are taking a regional look at the issue, because Boko Haram insurgency has now become a regional menace,” said Chris Mburu, Senior human rights advisor and coordinator of the Office deployment. “The idea is to collect information from all the four affected countries, in terms of human rights abuses and violations committed.”

“I hope the findings make a difference to the people affected by this crisis,” Mburu continued. “The whole objective of the investigation in general is to highlight issues of concern and assess the necessary responses that can then be tailored to them.”

The investigation was authorised by the Human Rights Council in a special resolution earlier this year. In the resolution, the council called on the Office to “collect information from the affected States …in order to prepare a report on the violations and abuses of human rights atrocities committed.”

A 12-person team has been dispatched into the area since May. They are working in north-eastern Nigeria, border regions between Cameroon and Nigeria, the far east of Niger and in parts of Chad. Mburu said the team will interview people who have fled fighting and are now in refugee and/or internally displaced person camps. The team also hopes to interview those who have recently arrived from areas that are currently inaccessible due to security concerns.

A presentation of the initial findings of the investigation will be made by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein in an oral update to the Human Rights Council. A written report of the findings, complete with recommendations, will be presented to the Council in September.

1 July 2015

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