আপডেটঃ ১:০৯ অপরাহ্ণ | মে ২৪, ২০১৪
DHAKA: The United Nations could impose sanctions Thursday on the Nigeria-based Islamist group Boko Haram, which has been blamed for thousands of deaths since launching an uprising against the government in 2009.
Nigeria has asked a Security Council committee to add Boko Haram to the list of al-Qaida-linked entities that are subject to asset freezes, travel bans and an arms embargo.
If there is no objection among the 15-member committee, Boko Haram will join the 62 other groups and 213 individuals on the sanctions list.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned recent violence in Nigeria in a statement from his spokesman late Wednesday, saying there is “absolutely no justification” for the attacks on civilians.
The U.N. is also working to support the efforts to find more than 250 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram last month, including preparing a “support package” for the girls and their families.
Earlier Wednesday, President Barack Obama deployed 80 U.S. military personnel to Chad to help in the search.
In a letter to Congress, Obama said the U.S. personnel will “support the operation of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft” over northern Nigeria and in “the surrounding area.” He said the force will remain in Chad to hunt for the children until it is no longer needed.
The Pentagon said the deployment will consist largely of Air Force personnel operating an unmanned, unarmed drone from a site inside Chad. State Department officials and federal investigators are also aiding the search.
The girls were abducted by Boko Haram militants April 14 from a boarding school in a remote area close to Nigeria’s border with Cameroon, Niger and Chad. Their whereabouts remains unknown.
The White House said last week that it had ordered U.S. surveillance flights over the region, and said commercial satellite images had been shared with the Nigerian government.