Abuja - A United Nations senior official said the organisation was aware of alleged violations by the country’s security forces during operations to rid communities of Boko Haram terrorists.
High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said his predecessor, Navi Pillay, during her visit to Nigeria last year, said that many of the people she met openly acknowledged that human rights violations had been committed by the security forces, and that these had served to alienate local communities and created fertile ground for Boko Haram to cultivate new recruits.
“Since then we have continued to receive reports of arbitrary arrests and detention, torture and summary executions, as well as of a failure to take adequate measures to ensure the protection of civilians during counter-insurgency operations. Reports issued by international NGOs, as well as the National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria indicate that the scale of the violations may be massive.”
The concession follows new reports by Amnesty International thousands of civilians had died at the hands of the military during operations to tackle the Boko Haram.
The army has refuted the allegations.
Meanwhile, Al Hussein recounted the harrowing accounts of children whose rights have been violated in the terror-ridden northern parts of the country.
He said the organisation had reports of children who had their arms amputated after communities suspected of theft.
He said in another incident a man stoned to death on accusations of fornication.
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There were also reports of mass executions of captives whose hands and legs were bound and who were dumped into rivers and wells.
In one incident reported to have taken place in late 2014, Boko Haram allegedly assembled and brutally killed at least 1 000, possibly many more, male inhabitants of Mararaba Madagali in Adamawa State.
These were men and boys who refused to join Boko Haram’s depraved cause.”
Eye witnesses described how, in an attack in April on Kwajafa village in Borno State, insurgents asked villagers to gather and hear them preach.
“When the villagers gathered, the insurgents opened fire. The United Nations Human Rights Office has also received a video recording an execution, allegedly of a girl who refused to convert to Islam,” Al Hussein added.
- CAJ News