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UN ready to shore up regional force fighting Boko Haram

UN Security Council diplomats are drafting a resolution to shore up a regional force fighting Boko Haram with financial backing and logistical support needed for the mission to succeed, according to a text obtained by AFP.



United Nations: UN Security Council diplomats are drafting a resolution to shore up a regional force fighting Boko Haram with financial backing and logistical support needed for the mission to succeed, according to a text obtained by AFP.

Under the measure, the Security Council would also consider sanctions against financiers and other supporters of the Nigerian Islamist group, which last week pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.

According to the draft, the 15-member council would endorse the decision to establish the regional force whose one-year mandate will be to "create a safe and secure environment in the areas affected by the activities of Boko Haram."

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon would be tasked with setting up a trust fund to receive contributions from member-states to help the five-nation force of up to 10,000 troops, but no figure on the financing is included in the text.

The force now stands at 8,700, with Nigeria contributing 3,250 troops, Chad 3,000, Cameroun 950, Benin 750 and Niger 750.

The draft resolution welcomes plans for a donors' conference to be held next month to unlock financing for the offensive, organized by the African Union with UN support.

The measure urges countries to share intelligence and provide personnel, equipment and services "for the successful deployment of the MNJTF," the Multinational Joint Task Force.

The text is being drafted under chapter 7 of the UN charter, which means it can be enforced by sanctions and possibly military action.

Recalling that Boko Haram has been listed as a terror group, the council urges governments to submit names of individuals and groups "who are financing, arming, planning or recruiting for Boko Haram" to a sanctions committee.

The text drafted by Chad, Nigeria and Angola, the Security Council's African members, is being discussed with Britain, France and the United States.

Diplomats said a formal draft resolution could be presented to the 15 members of the council next week, with a vote expected before the end of the month.

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