Boko Haram is an insurgent terrorist organization that belongs to a much larger terrorist network. A number of factors attribute to the existence of Boko Haram in Nigeria such as the global rise in terrorism, high levels of unemployment and underdevelopment of Northern Nigeria. The actions of this group have led to over 2 million people being displaced, the loss of innocent lives, abduction of young girls, destruction of infrastructure, family disintegration, loss of property as well as disturbance of educational access to children.
The actions of Boko Haram undermine fundamental human rights as enshrined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To the impregnated girls and women, the United Nations advocated for abortion . However, Section 228 of the Nigerian Criminal Code prohibits abortion and it is a punishable crime that can attract a 7-year jail term. There is also the existence of stigma and discrimination of Boko Haram victims which negatively impacts re-integration into the family unit and clashes with societal values.
There is a strong need for peace and dialogue talks between the state and all concerned parties. Furthermore, the state has an obligation of providing security to all educational institutions since these are highly targeted by Boko Haram. The South African economy should pay a pivotal role in conflict resolution since it has a non-permanent position in the United Nations Security Council. There is a need for the African Union security council to help in this crisis as well, since the effects are shared with other African neighbouring economies. The displaced are for example migrating to neighbouring countries.
When it comes to support for victims, government ministries in Nigeria should ensure that they offer counselling programs to the victims as well as health service. This is essential because some of the victims are abused sexually and may risk contracting ailments. For the children without parents or who lost guardians in attacks l suggest a scholarship fund to be set by the state to ensure that education is a basic key human right for very one.
It is crucial for the state to ensure that heavy penalties are put in place to ensure that the culprits face the music and the full wrath of the law is applied. Without these measures in place, the women, girls and children will remain prey to the ruthless terrorists.
Above all, l recommend that the Nigerian government must invest in the military so as to ensure that peace and security is guaranteed in the economy. This will help in ensuring that property and infrastructure is kept safe. From an investment perspective, it follows that a peaceful economy can attract more foreign direct investment and as such with the rich oil deposits of Nigeria and if they achieve peace, the benefits to be reaped are many. Proper resource distribution is key to ensure high industrialisation levels that promote employment in the economy.
In the short to medium term, the government whose role is to protect the citizens and cater for them through tax and other funds available should find a mechanism of compensating the affected victims. This is essential in ensuring that peace and reconciliation is attained and can help to restore normalcy and improve living standards. This would also ensure that the future of the economy is secured because children would have an opportunity to return to school.
Featured image | Boko Haram| AK Rockefeller | flickr
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Best of Africa.
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