‘We will triumph over terrorism,’ Nigerian President tells UN Assembly

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria addresses the general debate of the sixty-ninth session of the General Assembly. UN Photo/Cia Pak

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria addresses the general debate of the sixty-ninth session of the General Assembly. UN Photo/Cia Pak

New York, 24 September 2014 – Even though the United Nations Charter underlines the imperative to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”, Goodluck Jonathan, President of Nigeria told the General Assembly today that the world continued to witness the ravages of war and human suffering, at times manifested as a “vicious and aimless” insurgency with “agonizing consequences.”

Mr. Jonathan, addressing the Assembly’s annual general debate, said the involvement of foreign fighters has remained a common feature of terrorist groups, whether Al Qaida in the Maghreb, Al Shabaab in Somalia, Boko Haram in Nigeria, or the newly emerging Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

“The new dimension introduced by (ISIL) to conquer territory and establish its destructive ideology, is a major challenge that must be collectively halted before it becomes the norm,” he declared, adding that such actions also refocus attention on the need to review present tools for UN peacekeeping operations.

As for Nigeria, Mr. Jonathan said the violent and criminal activities of Boko Haram have continued to pose a potent challenge to his Government and people. “Through a wave of terror, assassinations, bombings, and now abductions and kidnappings predominantly in the northeast of the country, Boko Haram is attempting to truncate development, by murder and mayhem,” he said, lamenting that in April, “our innocent daughters” were abducted from a Secondary School in Chibok.

Thanking all the countries and organizations that expressed solidarity with Nigeria, and which had continued to support its determined efforts to free the girls, he said that although it has been over three months since they were abducted, “we have never relented in our efforts to set them safely free. Together with our partners, we are working assiduously to free our daughters and reunite them with their families.”

“We shall not waiver until we end this mindless war on the innocent, and bring all the perpetrators to justice. We will triumph over terrorism.”

Mr. Jonathan went on to say that while Africa, and in particular, West Africa, battles conflicts and terrorism, with progressive results, the region is now being devastated by the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus. “While Nigeria was able to respond effectively to control the spread of the disease, the situation in Liberia and Sierra Leone requires sustainable, collective global action to contain,” he said, underscoring that the indulging in “isolationist and discriminatory tendencies will only worsen an already critical situation.”