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Rights group wants Boko Haram funding probe

22 May 2014, 09:41

Abuja - Human Rights Watch, the global organisation,  has recommended the identifying the source of funding for Boko Haram saying it would be a key step in tackling the menace of terrorism in the country.

The body made the recommendation at a media briefing in Lagos late Wednesday.

The European Media Director of Human Rights Watch, Andrew Stroehlein, said that identifying the source of funding for the group would be critical in winning the war against the insurgent group.

He emphasized that effort must be made in this direction especially as the United States has recently stated that the likelihood of Boko Haram's funding coming from Al Queda was slim.

It has been alleged Boko Haram secures funding through robberies and some government and business officials.

Stroehlein said the coming together of the world powers to confront Boko Haram, though coming a little late, could be leveraged upon to achieve this.

He recommended that an independent international panel should be set up for this purpose because the challenge has now gone beyond the Nigerian scope.

The body also advised government against stationing security agents near schools in the north.

The body's local Head of Research, Mausi Segun, said this could be a counter productive security response to the insurgents' attacks.

"Government should demilitarize the security around schools in the north. Positioning  military and police forces around schools, from what we have seen in other places, has high tendency of attracting attacks to the schools.

“The attack might not be primarily targeted against the schools but when the military and police forces stationed close to schools are attacked same would no doubt spill to the schools.” Mausi said.

As an alternative, she recommended that the protection of schools should rather be community-led.

“The government should consider setting up early warning and preparatory system to tackle insurgent attacks. This would involve stationing military and police forces  in locations where they could easily respond in case of attacks, but never close to the schools," Mausi said.

She pointed out that with effective  early warning system in place, it would be easy to  evacuate student from schools that have been marked for attack. 

- CAJ News

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