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Amnesty International accuse Nigerian military of razing villages as Boko Haram attacks escalate

Amnesty International (AI) has accused the Nigerian military of burning and forcibly displacing entire villages in response to a recent escalation in attacks by the armed group Boko Haram.

In a report published on Friday, AI disclosed that the military burnt down villages, arbitrarily detained six men from the displaced villages.
They were detained at Maimalari military camp for about a month after which they were freed without any charge, which violated international human rights.

“The men were held incommunicado for almost a month and subjected to ill-treatment, before their release on 30 January 2020” the report said.

Based on interviews with affected villagers in Borno State and satellite data analysis, Amnesty International reported the Nigerian military has continued the pattern of violations which it has documented throughout the country’s decade-long armed conflict in the northeast.

Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho said “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. 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 report stated that AI interviewed 12 women and men forced to flee their homes on 3 and 4 January 2020 from three villages near the Maiduguri-Damaturu road, between Jakana and Mainok in Borno State.

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