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Doubts raised over Boko Haram sanctions

A screengrab taken on May 12, 2014, from a video released by Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram and obtained by AFP shows a man claiming to be the leader of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram Abubakar ShekauBoko Haram is probably beyond the reach of global sanctions but attempts to curb the Nigerian Islamists’ reign of terror is an indication of growing international commitment, analysts said. But with sanctions designed to cut off overseas funding and support for Boko Haram, which kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls last month, there are doubts about what impact they might have on the ground. “Boko Haram has for several years now existed beyond the formal parameters where an arms embargo or asset-freeze would affect the group,” Jacob Zenn, from the Jamestown Foundation think-tank in the United States, told AFP. Omoyele Sowore of Nigeria’s Sahara Reporters website told BBC radio on Friday that Boko Haram was different from global extremist groups such as Al-Qaeda in terms of structure and funding.

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