Addressing Boko Haram and the Nigerian crisis
The Islamic State of West Africa, more commonly known as Boko Haram, has been a continuous threat to the West African states around Lake Chad since the insurgency properly began in 2009. Despite not enjoying the same amount of public awareness as its middle-eastern cousin ISIL, Boko Haram has thus far been responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands and the displacement of as many as 2.3 million people. The Nigerian Army has been fighting a slow and gain-less war against the group for years, but economic conditions within the country and corruption have made it so the two sides are trapped in a fragile stalemate. All of this occurs while more and more atrocities are committed freely by the group: It is already responsible for many massacres, ethnic cleansings and most recently for the use of child suicide bombers. This year, the Security Council passed Resolution 2349, which strongly condemns the actions of Boko Haram and those aiding them and encourages cooperation between the nations of the Chad Basin towards tackling the common threat. Will this resolution be enough to stop the loss of life, or will the council have to take more direct measures? Only time will tell.
The 15 members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) are tasked with maintaining peace and security in the entire world. The UNSC is the only organ of the United Nations with legally-binding power, which makes it chief in importance. Each of the fifteen states represented within the council receive a vote, and a resolution passes only if 9 votes are cast in favor of it. Ten of the Security Council’s members rotate on a two year basis, but the other five enjoy permanent representation and an extremely powerful privilege: The Veto Power. These five nations, namely the USA, UK, France, Russia and China are able to overturn any resolution for any reason by casting a vote against it. As such, a resolution cannot pass within the council without the consent of all of the Permanent-Five. Through this process of voting and consensus, the Security Council is brought in on a multitude of issues of security, mainly with the mission of bringing a peaceful resolution to the conflict being addressed. However, if a peaceful resolution proves impossible, the council has the ability to impose harsh sanctions and even conduct military action against those who infringe upon world peace.