The United Nations Security Council has approved sanctions against the Nigerian militant group, Boko Haram, five weeks after it kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls.
The group will now be added to a list of al-Qaeda-linked organisations subject to an arms embargo and asset freeze.
Boko Haram was added to the al-Qaeda Sanctions committee’s list of designated entities on Thursday at the request of President Goodluck Jonathan.
The sanctions designation would help close off important avenues of funding, travel and weapons to the group.
In reaction, the United States of America has immediately welcomed the terror designation of the group.
US envoy, Samantha Power, said it was an important step in support of efforts to defeat Boko Haram and hold its murderous leadership accountable.
“Today, the Security Council took an important step in support of the government of Nigeria’s efforts to defeat Boko Haram and hold its murderous leadership accountable for atrocities,” Power said.
Experts, however, question whether the sanctions will have a real impact given the group is based in an area that operates on a cash economy.
In the last five weeks, Boko Haram has stepped up attacks outside the North east, where it had focused its operations in the past, leading to fears of an escalation of insurgency and its attendant carnage.