Open Letter to Ban Ki Moon in the Face of Boko Haram Activities,By Odeyele, Ayodeji Joseph
September 17, 2014.
UN Secretary General,
The Hon. Ban Ki-Moon,
United Nations Headquarters,
New York, NY 10017.
It is with sadness and utmost disappointment that I write this open letter to you, in the name of millions of Nigerians and I’m hoping that this letter gets to you and that you will use your kind office to act now on the situation in Nigeria.
It is a regrettable development that in this 21st Century, a Country like Nigeria, is confronted with an internal disorder and the world is watching while the nation is collapsing.
The bombings and kidnapping that are now rampant in Nigeria, is not just a crime plaguing Nigerians alone but it is a crime on Human Kind as a whole.
It is worth mentioning that as a student of International Studies, I am fully aware that Article 2 (7) of the UN charter states that ‘the United Nations has no authority to intervene in matters which are within the Domestic Jurisdiction of any State’; but with lessons from Rwanda, dire Human Rights violations that call for Humanitarian intervention continue to occur around the world, but with little or no response from the International Community. The situations that readily come to mind include the crises in the Darfur region of Sudan, Syria, South Sudan (the Bentiu massacre), Central African Republic, the ever festering DRC, and, to some extent, Ukraine and now Nigeria. The humanitarian situations in these conflict zones mandate intervention by the United Nations, but the organization, though in sight, is not doing much other than condemning; as rightly said by Emmanuel Ogebe the Human Rights Lawyer,
“a slow international response contributed to the rise of what is now “the second deadliest terror group in the world” after the Taliban.”
In the face of all the attacks, there are ways or methods by which the United Nations Organization (UNO) can intervene and save Nigeria from collapsing. One of the most important would be for the Security Council’s permanent members to transcend their narrow national interests and, in fact, do away with the obsession with state sovereignty. One can only hope that this would happen, particularly because UN Security Council permanent members like China and Russia have continued to exhibit obdurate behaviour in addressing conflict zones like Syria and the Iranian nuclear program crisis. Any nation that fails in its obligation to uphold International Law, particularly the protection of human lives, loses its right to sovereignty, political independence, and territorial inviolability. Thus, state sovereignty should be discarded in favour of human rights and humanitarian principles.
To that end, the advice one would give the Security Council is that it should make the threshold for humanitarian intervention more explicit. State sovereignty should no longer be a barrier to humanitarian intervention because any claim to sovereignty that is not consistent with the protection of fundamental humanitarian principles should be null and void. As such, the Security Council should mandate an unambiguous enforcement action under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. As laid out in Article 43 and Article 45, this would require the Security Council to make a special agreement on such issues as “armed forces, assistance, and facilities, including rights of passage.” The members of the Security Council should therefore seek to design an agreement that lays out the elements of this enforcement action with an explicit threshold for humanitarian intervention, and set limits to prevent this humanitarian intervention from becoming a regime change.
We in Nigeria humbly plead, that you use your kind office as the Secretary General and Executive Head of the UN, to immediately establish inquiry with a view to thoroughly investigating the menace of Boko Haram and ensuring that the perpetrators and those backing them up bear the consequences of their actions by being made to face the full wrath of the Law..
We look forward to your favourable consideration.
Odeyele, Ayodeji Joseph
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