Ahead of a key regional meeting in Niger on Tuesday, the UN Security Council spoke out against Islamist militant group Boko Haram.
"The Security Council demands that Boko Haram immediately and unequivocally cease all hostilities and all abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law and disarm and demobilize," it said in a statement, its first official condemnation of the terrorist organization's acts as a whole.
The extremist group has drawn significantly more international attention over the past year, due to the increase in the number of attacks it has carried out, which have spilled over into neighboring countries.
Its kidnapping of nearly 300 schoolgirls also sparked the social media campaign #bringbackourgirls across the globe, which spotlighted its exploitation of children for its terror campaign.
The UN Security Council further said that some of the group's acts could "account to crimes against humanity."
This month, Boko Haram militants massacred at least 2,000 Nigerians in the northeastern town Baga where a key military base is located.
On Saturday, Chad sent troops and equipment to Cameroon and Nigeria in a bid to help tackle the Islamist insurgency.
In its statement, released late on Monday, the UN urged other nations to form a multinational force aimed at combating the militant group.
Boko Haram, which controls parts of northeastern Nigeria, is seeking to establish an Islamic state in Africa. Frequent raids, killings and suicide bomb attacks perpetrated by the jihadists have claimed at least 13,000 lives and displaced an estimated 1.5 million people.
kms/cmk (AP, AFP, dpa)