Amnesty International Accuses Nigeria Military Of Negligence

Amnesty International said the Nigerian military leadership was warned of imminent Boko Haram attacks on Baga and Monguno towns of Borno State but failed to take necessary steps to protect hundreds of civilians affected by the attack.

 

The organisation quoted a senior military source along with other evidences as sources of its information.

 

Amnesty International said long before the attack on Baga, the Multinational Joint Task Force based in the town informed military headquarters in Abuja about sightings of Boko Haram patrols and build-ups of the insurgents and requested reinforcements, which was never rendered.

 

The Boko Haram terrorists had captured Monguno on January 25 and launched fierce attacks on Maiduguri and Konduga killing many civilians; but were repelled by security forces.

 

A military official was quoted as saying that, “This attack was expected because Boko Haram warned the inhabitants of Baga and surrounding villages almost two months ago that they would be coming to attack the troops and the civilian JTF [Joint Task Force].”

 

Basing its claim on the evidence available to the organisation, Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa director said, “It is clear from this evidence that Nigeria’s military leadership woefully and repeatedly failed in their duty to protect civilians of Baga and Monguno despite repeated warnings about an impending threat posed by Boko Haram.”

 

“These attacks are an urgent wake-up call for the Nigerian leadership, the African Union and the international community. It is essential to protect hundreds of thousands of civilians in northeast Nigeria from Boko Haram’s continued onslaught,” Belay said.

 

In the statement issued on Wednesday, Belay revealed that the African Union, AU’s Peace and Security Council is expected to discuss the deployment of a possible regional force against Boko Haram at its meeting on Thursday, January 29.

 

“If such a force were to be deployed it is vital that it has a clear mandate to protect civilians and that all parties engaging in military deployment comply with international humanitarian law and international human rights law,” Belay said.

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