By Olusegun Emmanuel, Abuja.
Switzerland government yesterday discredited report of funding Boko-Haram sect with $12.4 million to execute its deadly assault on the Nigeria and its citizens.
Some foreign media including the United States of America based New York Times in its recent reports stated that terrorists received $12.4 million from Switzerland in ransom, thereby empowering the insurgents to flourish in its activities.
But, in a statement Mr. George Farago on behalf of government of Switzerland to discredit the report stating that “Switzerland has stated clearly and repeatedly that it refuses to pay ransoms to terrorists and urges all states to follow its example.
“Kidnapping for Ransom is also one of the major topics on the agenda of the Swiss Chairmanship of the OSCE during 2014, and Switzerland is very committed advancing this issue internationally,” it said.
Adding that, “On the occasion of the OSCE International Conference on Counter-terrorism, held in Interlaken (Switzerland) end of April 2014, Mr Didier Burkhalter, President of the Swiss Confederation and Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE, confirmed the necessity for States to subscribe to a non-ransom policy in case of terrorist kidnappings, in order to stop the financing of further terrorist acts and activities.
“The increasing number of kidnappings and subsequent demands for ransom by terrorist groups is a development that worries Switzerland a lot. This system, which is a squalid reduction of human life to the level of a mere commodity, important revenue for terrorist groups, and their payments are fuelling further kidnappings and put citizens of all States at higher risks,” it said.
“The most effective way to disrupt this pattern is to apply and promote a strict policy of no-ransom payments and no-political concessions, in line with the United Nations Security Council Resolution on Kidnapping for Ransom adopted in the beginning of this year,” it added.
“We need to improve international cooperation to prevent kidnappings. And when the kidnappings take place, we ensure better cooperation to save the hostages and to secure their release. As a Member of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF), Switzerland strongly supported the efforts to adopt the Algiers Memorandum on Good Practices on Preventing and Denying the Benefits of Kidnapping for Ransom by Terrorists.
“The more the States are subscribing to a no-ransom and no political concessions policy, the higher the prevention effect will be: this is why Switzerland is actively promoting such a policy within the United Nations, the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF) and other global fora,” the statement said.