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UN Human Rights Council to Hold Special Session on Boko Haram

The United Nations Human Rights Council has been requested to host a special session next week on abuses by Boko Haram militants in Nigeria and neighboring countries, the council president said Friday.

The U.N.’s top rights body received the request late Thursday from Algeria, on behalf of the group of African countries, president Joachim Ruecker told the council.

If officially accepted by at least one third of the council’s 47 members, the session will go ahead on April 1.

So far, 19 member states have said they will support the request, indicating it will be accepted.

The announcement is coming a day before the presidential election amid calls for tighter security following years of bloody attacks by Boko Haram in the northeast.

The insurgency by Boko Haram militants, aiming to create a hard-line Islamic state, has killed more than 13,000 people since 2009 and forced some 1.5 million others to flee their homes.

The group, which recently pledged allegiance to the ISIS insurgency, has also increased attacks in neighboring countries.

The U.N. Human Rights Council rarely hosts special sessions, with only 22 such events held since the body was created in 2006.

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