Boko Haram: British tabloid indicts FG of war crimes
A British newspaper, Daily Independent’s Report has accused Nigeria’s federal government of allegedly committing war crimes by terrorizing some of its citizens in the course of its fight against the deadly Boko Haram sect.
Relying on a documentary it said will be broadcast tonight, the paper reported yesterday that human rights investigators believe that 4,000 people have died in military custody since Boko Haram started its attacks in Nigeria two years ago.
The report noted that while Nigeria is currently Africa’s biggest economy, the North which serves as home to most of the nation’s 80 million Muslims and the heartland of the Islamist extremist group, has its people aS the poorest in the country.
It indicated that the Boko Haram sect had killed more than 2,000 people this year alone, most of whom are civilians.
It further stated that the Nigerian Army took control of local militias who are young Muslim men who had come together to help identify Boko Haram members living in their communities, adding that President Goodluck Jonathan hailed this militia as “new national heroes.”
The report alleges further that: “The militias armed themselves with machetes, cutlasses and even bows and arrows. They adopted the official title “Civilian Joint Taskforce.”
While noting that the militia, in their hunt for the insurgents, swept through remote towns and villages, even in communities where they had little local knowledge, the report noted: “The militia used these tactics in a town called Dikwa, around the start of Ramadan 2013 and filmed some of their operations. The videos show the militia acting as if everyone was a potential terrorist.
“Other videos suggest little hard evidence was used to identify Boko Haram suspects.
“Instead, they denounced individuals on the basis of bizarre clues: thorns in the sandals from being in the bush; bruises supposedly caused by carrying guns or even a suspicious expression,” it stressed