Johannesburg - South Africa's official opposition urged the African Union to consider military intervention to end the bloodshed by the Boko Haram sect in Nigeria.
Ahead of the continental bloc's summit scheduled for next week, the Democratic Alliance said the AU should provide more support to Nigeria through arms supplies and increased presence of peacekeeping forces.
"This will enable the Nigerian government to be better equipped to combat the serious threat of Boko Haram’s activities," Sandy Kalyan, DA Shadow Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, said on Wednesday.
According to Article 13 of the African Union Constitutive Act, the Executive Council is mandated to consider issues brought to it.
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With the support of member states, the Assembly is empowered to “give directives to the Executive Council and Peace and Security Council on the management of conflicts, war, acts of terrorism, emergency situations and the restoration of peace”.
The theme for the 2015 AU Summit is the “Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063”.
"This focus should compel the AU to take action on the thousands of lives, many of them women and children, that have been lost to devastating extremist crimes in Nigeria," Kaylan said.
"It is unacceptable that the Nigerian people have been held hostage by a militant insurgency which seeks to bring the country to its knees."
Kaylan thus called on the South African government to place the massacre of thousands of people by the Boko Haram forces in northern Nigeria firmly on the agenda of the AU Summit.
- CAJ News