By Felix Khanoba
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on the United Nations (UN) Security Council to declare the attacks by herdsmen in Nigeria as terrorist acts.
In an open letter to the Security Council, SERAP urged members of the body to urgently hold a special session on Nigeria and to visit the country to press the authorities to end continuing killings and destruction of property by the herdsmen.
In the letter dated 16th March, 2018 and signed by SERAP Deputy Director, Timothy Adewale, the organisation said that the Council must act in line with its Resolution 2349 (2017), which addresses Boko Harama��s presence in the Lake Chad Basin and calls on all states to combat all forms and manifestations of terrorism.
Adewale said: a�?Declaring attacks by herdsmen as terrorist acts would help make the authorities to seriously address the threats posed by herdsmen and combat the crimes against humanity being committed against Nigerians.a�?
SERAP expressed serious concern that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is failing to uphold its responsibility to protect the citizens from increasing atrocities by the herdsmen, saying that the ugly development poses serious threats to regional peace and security.
The letter reads in par : a�?The attacks by herdsmen have uprooted families, destroyed communitiesa�� socio-economic activities, and taken away their livelihoods and common heritage. These attacks undermine the very purposes and principles of the UN Charter. If not urgently combatted, such attacks may rise to the level of threat to international peace and security.
a�?SERAP notes that the first a�?purposea�� listed for the UN is to maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace.
a�?SERAP urges the Security Council and its members to publicly condemn these terrorist attacks, express concern about the protection of Nigerians and communities affected by the violations of international humanitarian and human rights law and press the authorities to put in place special mechanisms for bringing those suspected to be responsible to justice, and victims to receive redress, including adequate compensation and guarantee of non-repetition.
a�?The Security Council and its members should reaffirm that terrorism of all forms and manifestations, such as the growing attacks by herdsmen in Nigeria, are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivations,a�? Adewale said.
By Felix Khanoba