UNITED NATIONS – The United States says the U.N. Security Council has approved sanctions against the Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group Boko Haram which has carried out a wave of deadly attacks and the recent abduction of nearly 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria.
U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power welcomed the council’s action on Thursday, calling it “an important step in support of the government of Nigeria’s efforts to defeat Boko Haram and hold its murderous leadership accountable for atrocities.”
Nigeria asked the Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against Al Qaeda to add Boko Haram to the list of Al Qaeda-linked organizations subject to an arms embargo and asset freeze.
Former US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, called for a US strategy to combat the Boko Haram menace, saying economic sanction as being canvassed at the UN would have no effect on the insurgent since they do not operate bank account.
Bolton who spoke on Fox News monitored in Abuja said the problem of the insurgency should not be entirely left to Nigeria to solve since the government has said it lack the capacity to combat terror.
He expressed worry about the growing insurgency in the region, citing its prevalence in North African countries of Mali, Algeria, and Libya, adding that Boko Haram is in direct link with other terrorist groups in the region.
He said the US must be prepared to take firm action against Boko Haram sect since it threatens America interest, citing the abduction of an American priest in the area as example.
The 14 other council member of the UN had until 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT) on Thursday to object and none did, so the committee now add Boko Haram to the Al Qaeda sanctions list.