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Economic development, vital to ending terrorism in Northeast- UNSC

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…Paschal Okeke
The UN Security Council has said that the only solution to the Boko Haram terrorism in the Northeastern Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin was the economic development of the region.
Matthew Rycroft, the leader of a UN Security Council delegation, said this while speaking with journalists shortly after a visit to Maiduguri.
“We are convinced that the long term solution is not military, it is not even humanitarian, and it is development.
“It has to do with thinking about long term investments, in job creation, in education among others,” Mr. Rycroft, who is also the UK Permanent Representative to the UN and the Security Council’s President for the month of March, said.
He added: “It is thinking about the protection of civilians, thinking about protection of human rights, of women and girls rights in particular.
“All of us have to come together and we stand with the governor of Borno, the government of Nigeria in tackling all of these problems in the Lake Chad Basin region”.
Mr. Rycroft explained that the visit was aimed at getting firsthand information on the crisis.
“We came here because we are very worried about the crisis which is affecting the North East Nigeria which is the crisis of terrorism caused by Boko Haram.
“We are also here because of the humanitarian crisis which is being exacerbated by the terrorists,” he said.
Mr. Rycroft said that the team had been able get sufficient information from some victims of the crisis.
“We have had meetings with displaced persons in one of the IDP camps interacting with women and men who had been victims of Boko Haram.
“They are now victims of humanitarian crisis, the number is shocking in terms of Displaced Persons, half a million children are malnourished,” he said.
Mr. Rycroft said that the UN Security Council was determined to step up assistance to the victims.
“We are determined that the international Community, the donor nations and the UN coordinating units step up response before it is too late,” he said.
The 14-man UN Security Council delegation also visited the Theater Commander Operation Lafiya Dole, the Nigerian army’s operation in the north-east, as part of the visit.

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