Nigerian military engages in war crimes; burns down villages and illegally detain innocent villagers – Amnesty International

Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff

Amnesty International in a recent report alleges that the Nigerian military uses illegal tactics in its fight against insurgency in the North-East.

According to AI, some of the bad tactics used by the Nigerian military includes burning people’s homes and detention of innocent villagers.

AI in its latest report released today noted that the Nigerian military burnt three villages and detained six men from the displaced villages. According to the group, the men are held illegal at Maimalari Military Barracks in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, North-East Nigeria.

The group further noted that the men were released after a month without any charge, saying that their fundamental human rights were violated.

They accused the military of deploying these unlawful tactics in apparent response to Boko Haram attacks since December 2019.

The group alleges that residents of Bukarti, Ngariri, and Matiri villages revealed that soldiers arrived on Friday 3rd January, 2020, forced them to board trucks, conveyed them away from their homes and burnt down their villages.

The villagers (about 400 men, women and children) were reportedly conveyed to an internally displaced persons camp around Maiduguri.

AI consequently calls for the investigation of the alleged deliberate actions of the Nigerian military as possible war crimes, and the immediate suspension of the forces.

“These brazen acts of razing entire villages, deliberately destroying civilian homes and forcibly displacing their inhabitants with no imperative military grounds, should be investigated as possible war crimes,” Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, said.

“They repeat a longstanding pattern of the Nigerian military’s brutal tactics against the civilian population. Forces allegedly responsible for such violations must be suspended immediately and brought to justice.”

“The Nigerian government must not brush these violations under the carpet. They must be investigated, and alleged perpetrators must be prosecuted. Necessary steps must also be taken to ensure that military operations do not further forcibly displace civilian populations,” Ojigho added.

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