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AU concerned about escalating crisis

03 June 2013, 14:07Savious Kwinika

Johannesburg - The humanitarian crisis emanating from the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria is a “cause for concern” to the African Union (AU), officials said.

The reign of terror by Boko Haram  has led to the death of more than 500 people in recent times and displaced thousands more, including foreign nationals.

Human rights violations, health problems and food shortages have escalated while thousands of children have dropped out of school in recent weeks.

Responding to questions from CAJ News, the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Dr Aisha Laraba Abdullahi, said the organisation is closely monitoring unfolding developments in Nigeria.

“We are concerned about the effect of the disturbances in the northern parts of Nigeria and its humanitarian implications for neighbouring countries like Niger, Chad, Cameroun, Benin Republic among others.

"Our responsibility is to ensure that Nigeria, as a member state of the Union abides by its commitment as enshrined in the AU constitution which stipulates that African states protect human rights and promote good governance in the continent.

 “We will continue to urge the Nigerian government to take necessary humanitarian precautions while we are also committed to ensuring that the lives and properties of the citizens caught in the middle of this crisis is handled appropriately,"  Abdullahi said.

Abdullahi raised concern that the crisis was spilling to neighbouring countries.

In addition, in the past two weeks alone, the Nigerian government deported thousands of foreign nationals, mainly from fellow member states of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

“Our humanitarian officials are watching closely and necessary steps are being taken to avoid an escalation of humanitarian crisis in the region,” Abdullahi said.

Recently, the Nigerian Interior Minister, Abba Moro, said the deported “illegal immigrants” from neighbouring ECOWAS member states were a “serious security threat” to Nigeria hence the decision to move them out of the country. 

- CAJ News



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