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UN Committee Considers Sanctions Against Boko Haram

  • VOA News

FILE - Man claiming to be leader of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, in video screengrab, unknown location, Sept. 25, 2013.

FILE - Man claiming to be leader of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, in video screengrab, unknown location, Sept. 25, 2013.

The United Nations could impose sanctions Thursday on the Nigeria-based Islamist group Boko Haram, which has been blamed for thousands of deaths since launching an uprising in 2009.

Nigeria has asked a Security Council committee to add Boko Haram to the list of al-Qaida-linked entities that are subject to asset freezes, travel bans and an arms embargo.

Abdullahi Jalo, a spokesman for the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP), told VOA the Nigerian government is confident it will receive U.N. support.

"We are sure the world will definitely support the stance of [the] Nigerian government to show to the world that the government of the PDP is all out to stem out deadly section of the society that has infiltrated into the society, killing people without any reason," said Jalo.

If there is no objection among the 15-member committee Thursday, Boko Haram will join 62 other groups and 213 individuals on the sanctions list.

On Thursday, teachers across Nigeria took part in protests against Boko Haram's April kidnapping of more than 200 school girls.

Several countries have pledged to support Nigeria in its effort to find the girls. On Wednesday, U.S. President Barack Obama deployed 80 U.S. military personnel to Nigeria's neighbor Chad to help in the search.

The U.N. is also backing efforts to find the girls, including preparing a "support package" for the girls and their families.

Boko Haram has said it wants to establish a strict Islamist state in northern Nigeria.

In recent months, the group has stepped up the frequency and intensity of its attacks. Nigerian officials believe the militants are responsible for twin bombings in the central city of Jos on Tuesday that killed at least 118 people.

Earlier this week, lawmakers extended a year-old state of emergency in the northeast, where Boko Haram has been most active.

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