Special session announced at UN rights body on Boko Haram abuses

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Refugees in Diffa, Niger, who fled Boko Haram violence in Nigeria. Photo: OCHA/Franck Kuwonu

The UN’s human rights watchdog is to hold a special session on abuses linked to the separatist militia group known as Boko Haram, it announced Friday.

The development follows a request from the Algerian delegation on behalf of the African Group, lodged late on Thursday evening with the Human Rights Council secretariat.

Boko Haram fighters have carried out repeated terror attacks in north-east Nigeria and of incursions into neighbouring countries. The group recently pledged allegiance to ISIS extremists.

Daniel Johnson has more.

News of the special session came on the last day of the month-long meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Friday.

It means that member nations will return to the chamber on Wednesday 1 April to discuss violations committed by Boko Haram extremists in north-east Nigeria.

Their insurgency movement has resulted in thousands of deaths from bombing attacks since the group formed in 2002.

It’s also prompted a humanitarian crisis as tens of thousands of Nigerians have fled into neighbouring countries Niger, Cameroon and Chad.

Joachim Ruecker is the Human Rights Council president:

“I would like to inform you that I’ve received on 26 March 2015 at 5.55pm a letter signed by the permanent representative of Algeria containing a request to convene a special session of the council, and I quote, In light of the terrorist attacks and human rights abuses and violations committed by the terrorist group Boko Haram, end quote, on Wednesday 1 April 2015.”

The Algerian delegation received the support of 23 states for the special debate, which will culminate with a vote on the draft proposal or its adoption by consensus.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations

Duration 1’15”

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