Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.

 

US concerned about abuses by Nigerian forces

17 November 2012, 08:27

Lagos - The United States is seriously concerned about abuses committed by Nigerian security forces that are fuelling support for the Islamist insurgency in the north, the U.S. assistant secretary for democracy and human rights said on Friday.

Addressing journalists in the commercial hub of Lagos, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour Michael Posner urged Nigerian forces to be disciplined in their use of force and abstain from violence against civilians.

His remarks added to several calls for Nigeria's security forces to change their approach to the insurgency, which critics say is driving angry youths into the arms of Boko Haram and encouraging the northern population to shelter them.

"We are ... seriously concerned about abuses by members of the Nigerian security forces in combating Boko Haram's extremist violence," Posner said after talks with Nigerian officials. "We have received numerous reports of mass arrests, extra-judicial killings, torture and prolonged detention without due process."

There was no immediate comment from Nigerian security forces, but they have denied such accusations repeatedly.

Posner's comments came two weeks after Amnesty International said abuses were worsening the insurgency they were meant to crush.

"Many Nigerians believe that the excessive use of force by security forces ... has alienated local populations and fuelled support for Boko Haram," Posner said, echoing that view.

Boko Haram says it wants to create an Islamic state in Nigeria. Its fighters have killed hundreds in bomb and gun attacks in an uprising that began in 2009, and it has replaced militancy in the oil-rich Niger Delta as Nigeria's top security threat.

U.S. officials see their relationship with Africa's top energy producer as strategic, particularly because its light, sweet crude is ideal for refining into gasoline.

Boko Haram's influence has been greatly boosted by a feeling of helplessness in the dry, impoverished north, as political and economic power has gradually shifted to the rival, oil-rich south over the past decade.

Drawing on its own mixed experiences of tackling Islamist insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States has urged Nigeria use development to win over hearts and minds.

"Many of those most affected by the Boko Haram violence in northern states seek increased economic opportunity ... and more meaningful political engagement in shaping their own destiny," Posner said. "The ... government's ability to meet these ... aspirations will be critical to the country's future stability."

President Goodluck Jonathan has been accused of treating the conflict as a security problem that can be solved with force alone, although he has pledged more jobs for deprived areas.

Posner acknowledged that Boko Haram needed to be fought militarily, but urged the government to make "political and economic inclusion" part of its strategy.

- Reuters

NEXT ON NEWS24 NIGERIAX

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Martin Beck Nworah
Why do men rape?

Our ladies are suffering in silence and nobody cares to pay attention. When you dare to listen,what you will hear will terrify you and send shock waves down your spine...can you stand it? Read more...

Submitted by
Peregrino Brimah
Boko Haram, big oil and the Chad ...

Oil reserves exist in the Chad basin, which is centered in lake Chad which is surrounded by Niger, Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria. Read more...

Submitted by
Peregrino Brimah
The #JanjaweedConnection: Boko Ha...

A lot has happened really quickly in recent weeks in regards to the unraveling of the Boko Haram deadly sect. We have several breaking news events that all fit as pieces of the treacherous puzzle Read more...

Submitted by
Sunday Eyitayo Michael
"A Reject's Heart Cries"

Cuddled by the life's suffering as though she's never letting go. Tight embrace from pain; I could feel her innermost warmth. Read more...

Submitted by
Jibunor George Chuks
Sleep, wake up and see things cha...

As we all know, life is a journey which has its different paths. Which ever way you choose to follow will determine where you'll end up at the end.  Read more...

Submitted by
Jibunor George Chuks
Dream dreams

Even if you like dream dreams, without the desire and the drive to soar higher; be rest assured that is better to have a nightmare because it can actually make you to wake up on time. Read more...