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Highlights of Amnesty International Report on Nigerian Military.

Amnesty, in its 2017 report of assessment of human rights around the world, titled: ‘The State of the World’s Human Rights,’ accused Nigerian military and other security forces of serious human rights infractions, ranging from extra-judicial executions, enforced disappearances, torture and other ill-treatment.

Giving a breakdown of unlawful killings perpetrated by the military since December 2015, the report disclosed that over 1,200 individuals were buried in 2016 in an Internally Displaced Persons, IDP, camp in Bama, Borno State, due to inhuman conditions they were subjected to by the military.

“There remained, at least, two million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in northern Nigeria; 80 per cent of them lived in host communities, while the remainder lived in camps.

“The camps in Maiduguri remained overcrowded, with inadequate access to food, clean water and sanitation.

“In the so-called inaccessible territories in Borno State, tens of thousands of IDPs were held in camps under armed guard by the Nigerian military and the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), a state-sponsored civilian militia formed to fight Boko Haram.

“Most of the IDPs were not allowed to leave the camps and did not receive adequate food, water or medical care.

“Thousands of people have died in these camps due to severe malnutrition. In June, in a guarded camp in Bama, Borno State, the NGO Médecins Sans Frontières reported over 1,200 bodies had been buried within the past year.

 “Both the CJTF and the army were accused of sexually exploiting women in the IDP camps in exchange for money or food, or for allowing them to leave the camps”.

Amnesty also stated that mass arrest of people fleeing Boko Haram by the military, led to overcrowding in military detention facilities, adding that at the military detention facility at Giwa barracks, Maiduguri, cells were overcrowded, while diseases, dehydration and starvation were rife.

“This, led to the death of at least 240 detainees in 2016, among which were, at least, 29 children and babies, aged between newborn and five years, while the bodies were secretly buried in Maiduguri’s cemetery by the Borno State environmental protection agency staff.

Amnesty accused the military and other security forces of killing over 177 members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, despite the non-violent posture of the group in most cases when they were attacked.

Amnesty said: “The military deployment to police public gatherings contributed to the number of extra-judicial executions and unlawful killings. Since January, in response to the continued agitation by pro-Biafra campaigners, security forces arbitrarily arrested and killed, at least, 100 members and supporters of the group, IPOB.

“Some of those arrested were subjected to enforced disappearance. On February 9, 2017, soldiers and police officers shot at about 200 IPOB members who had gathered for a prayer meeting at the National High School in Aba, Abia State.

Amnesty said, “Video footage showed soldiers shooting at peaceful and unarmed IPOB members; at least 17 people were killed and scores injured.

“On 29 and 30 May, at least 60 people were killed in a joint security operation carried out by the army, police, Department of State Services (DSS) and the Navy. Pro-Biafra campaigners had gathered to celebrate Biafra Remembrance Day in Onitsha.

“No investigation into these killings had been initiated by the end of the year.”

Amnesty further noted that between December 12 and 14, 2015, soldiers killed more than 350 protesters and supporters of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, at two sites in Zaria, Kaduna State, while hundreds of IMN members were arrested and continued to be held in detention facilities in Kaduna, Bauchi, Plateau and Kano states.



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