Schools burned by Boko Haram in 2013 in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State, northeastern Nigeria. Photo: IRIN/Aminu Abubaka

16 May 2013 ? Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling on all extremist groups in Nigeria to cease their attacks amid deteriorating security in the country and where a state of emergency has been declared in parts of the northeast.

?The Secretary-General has been and remains very concerned about the continued violence and deteriorating security situation in northeast Nigeria, which poses a threat to national peace and security,? his spokesperson said Wednesday night in a note to correspondents.

?The Secretary-General reiterates his firm conviction that no objective can ever justify such use of violence. He underscores the need for all concerned to fully respect human rights and to safeguard the lives of all Nigerians,? the spokesperson continued.

In a speech Tuesday night, President Goodluck Jonathan said he had begun deploying additional troops to the region.

In recent weeks, more than 220 people have been killed in violent clashes between military forces and the Islamist group, Boko Haram.

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has urged the Nigerian Government to abide by human rights principles during security patrols, saying it is concerned about the large number of casualties, reportedly including many civilians, and massive destruction of houses and property.

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