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HRC Dialogue on the Countries Affected by Boko Haram
July 1, 2015

Interactive Dialogue Oral Update on Human Rights in Countries Affected by Boko Haram
Statement by the United States of America
Delivered by Ambassador Keith Harper
July 1, 2015

The United States thanks the High Commissioner for his oral update. The United States appreciates the opportunity to join this dialogue regarding the reporting by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on human rights in countries affected by Boko Haram.  We strongly condemn the atrocities being committed in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger by Boko Haram.

The United States encourages the Office to maintain a balanced, objective, and constructive focus on the human rights situation in the region.  To that end, the Office must focus its report on atrocities committed by Boko Haram.  It should also address alleged human rights violations committed by government security forces and human rights abuses by state sponsored vigilante groups.  Doing so is necessary to accurately reflect the grave plight of people in the region.  We commend the efforts by Chad and Cameroon to investigate alleged violations and abuses in areas affected by Boko Haram-related violence.

The United States urges that the final report of the Office stress the need for accountability for all parties responsible for human rights violations and abuses in countries affected by Boko Haram.  The United States continues to urge all parties to respect human rights and comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law.  As we stated at the recent special session, we believe that lasting stability and real security require the protection of human rights.  This would include independent judiciaries that uphold the rule of law, and police and security forces that respect freedoms of expression, association, peaceful assembly, and other human rights.

The United States thanks the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for its reporting on human rights in the countries affected by Boko Haram.  It should focus this Council on advancing the human rights of individuals facing the threat of violence in the region on a daily basis without recourse.

Thank you.