A civil society organization, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has written the United Nations Security Council asking that herdsmen who have been blamed for killings in various parts of Nigeria be declared a terrorist organization.
SERAP also demanded that the UN Security Council should a special meeting focused on the state of insecurity in Nigeria and pressure the Nigerian government to find a lasting solution to the killings by herdsmen across the country.
In the letter signed by Timothy Adewale, Deputy Director of SERAP, the organization said President Muhammadu Buhari has failed to carry out one of his primary responsibility, which is to secure lives and properties of the people.
While urging the UN Security Council to swiftly order President Buhari to take actions on ending the menace of herdsmen, SERAP posited that the President is further fueling the killing by his attitude which seems to be encouraging the impunity of the killer herdsmen.
While noting the main ‘purpose’ listed of the UN is to maintain international peace and security, and to that effect take measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, the organization said pronouncing the killer herdsmen a terrorist group would make the Nigeria and international authorities to seriously address the threats they posed to Nigerian.
SERAP maintained that if nothing is done to contain and immediately rein in the killers herdsmen, they could become a threat to international security as it happened in the case of Boko Haram.
“The attacks by herdsmen have uprooted families, destroyed communities’ socio-economic activities, and take away their livelihoods and common heritage. These attacks undermine the very purposes and principles of the UN Charter. If not urgently combatted, such attacks may rise to the level of threat to international peace and security.”
SERAP also asked the Security Council to outrightly condemn killings by any group regardless of the intentions behind it and also mobilize international support for Nigeria to enable it to combat all terrorist organizations in the country.
“The Security Council and its members should reaffirm that terrorism of all forms and manifestations, such as the growing attacks by herdsmen in Nigeria, are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivations.”
SERAP also urged members of the UN Security Council to visit the country to experience the level of inhumanity being carried out by herdsmen on daily basis.
It also urged the Council to immediately launch an investigation to the killings committed by herdsmen in Nigeria, while noting that the killings could ultimately contribute to undermining the ability of the Nigerian authorities to provide security, good governance, social and economic development in the country.