Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Amnesty Report Says Nigerian Military Carried Out Crimes Against Humanity, War Crimes

The human rights organization Amnesty International released a report on Wednesday which described several instances where the Nigerian military carried out war crimes and crimes against humanity including torture, rape, and killing civilians in their fight against the Boko Haram insurgency, according to Reuters.

The report says the crimes were carried out for several years and have persisted even after a presidential inquiry was formed last August, though their findings have not yet been made public.

The Nigerian military released a statement which said the findings from the international human rights organization was “a false report on fictitious rape incidents in IDP (internally displaced person) camps in the North East region of Nigeria.”

A presidency statement also said the report from Amnesty was lacking credibility, even though the 89-page report contains hundreds of interviews.

Those accounts detail traumatic experiences of victims who dealt with sexual violence, torched villages, and other abuse.

“The soldiers, they betrayed us, they said that we should come out of from our villages,” said a woman only identified as Yakura in Amnesty's report.

“They said it would be safer and that they would give us a secure place to stay. But when we came, they betrayed us. They detained our husbands and then they raped us women,” said Yakura, who fled Andara village, Borno state, in December 2016.
Nigeria has been fighting against Boko Haram for nine years, along with recently having to fight the offshoot group of Boko Haram, Islamic State West Africa.

The country's military has been fighting alongside Chad, Cameroon, Niger, with support from Britain, France, and the United States.

The conflict sparked one of the world's worst humanitarian crises and has killed more than 30,000 people.

A number of human rights groups, aid organizations, and journalists have detailed military abuse in the war against Boko Haram, but that has resulted in little change within the armed forces.

According to Amnesty’s report, interviewees “said when the military conducted operations in their villages, they burnt down homes and opened fire at remaining residents indiscriminately.”

Other victims said the military "forcibly" takes people to camps for those who have been displaced by the conflict.

The watchdog said the military would detain people and not give them access to food and water, causing several deaths.



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