Friday, March 27, 2015

Over 1,000 civilians killed by Boko Haram in Nigeria since January - HRW

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said that attacks by the Islamist armed group known as Boko Haram has led to the killing of over 1,000 civilians since January 2015, reports ITRealms.

HRW also said that its claims were based on witness accounts and an analysis of media reports, even as Boko Haram fighters had deliberately attacked villages and committed mass killings and abductions as their attacks have spread from northeast Nigeria into Cameroon, Chad, and Niger since February.

ITRealms equally reports that Human Rights Watch said it conducted interviews in late January with people who fled Yobe, Adamawa, and Borno states in northeastern Nigeria, which revealed horrific levels of brutality. 

“Since mid-2014, Boko Haram fighters have seized control of scores of towns and villages covering 17 local government areas in these northeastern states, some of which were recaptured by Nigerian and Chadian forces in March 2015,” HRW said in a press statement made available to ITRealms

“Each week that passes we learn of more brutal Boko Haram abuses against civilians,” said Mausi Segun, Nigeria researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The Nigerian government needs to make protecting civilians a priority in military operations against Boko Haram.”

The findings underscore the human toll of the conflict between Boko Haram and forces from from Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency says that nearly one million people have been forced to flee since the Islamist rebel group began its violent uprising in July 2009. 

During 2014, Human Rights Watch estimates that at least 3,750 civilians died during Boko Haram attacks in these areas. Attacks in the first quarter of 2015 have increased compared to the same period in 2014, including seven suicide bombings allegedly using women and children.

Udo Ndinma/GEE

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