Abuja - Chad has circulated a draft resolution to the U.N. Security Council that would endorse military action by a five-nation African force against Nigeria's Islamic extremist group Boko Haram.
The draft was circulated as the Nigerian military, bolstered by forces from the neighboring countries, has regained towns and cities held by Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria. The militant group killed an estimated 10,000 people last year.
Chad's U.N. Ambassador Mahamat Zene Cherif said Wednesday he hopes for a council vote this month on the proposed resolution, which would endorse the decision of Chad, Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria and Benin to establish a force for a period of 12 months to take "all necessary measures" against Boko Haram.
The draft resolution expresses "deep concern" that Boko Haram recently pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group. It declares that terrorist acts by Boko Haram and others constitute "one of the most serious threats to international peace and security."
The proposed resolution asks U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to establish a trust fund to help finance the military operation. It says the fund should be managed by the five countries under the supervision of the African Union.
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The draft also calls on the international community to provide equipment and intelligence to the African force, which is headquartered in the Chadian capital Ndjamena, and to assist with the deployment of troops in required.
It was drafted under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which can be military enforced.
Council diplomats said there are differences among members on whether the draft should be under Chapter 7 since it is not asking the U.N. to authorize the force — just to endorse it. There are also differences over who should manage the trust fund, the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because consultations have been private.
Boko Haram is already subject to U.N. sanctions.
The draft resolution expresses the council's readiness to consider imposing sanctions on additional individuals, groups and entities that are financing, arming, planning, recruiting or using the Internet and social media to support the extremist group.
It "demands that Boko Haram immediately and unequivocally cease all hostilities and all abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law and disarm." It also demands the release of all those abducted including the more than 200 schoolgirls seized nearly a year ago in northeastern Nigeria.