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


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Abdulqadir Abdul
A tale of two woes

Since the advent change from military to democracy, Kogi seems to have no riposte to the conundrum of corruption, ignominy and squalor. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulqadir Abdul
Dying another death

Lets hold our strongest weapon which is our vote.  Read more...

Submitted by
Hussain Obaro
Buhari should retain Ministry of ...

Indications has emerged in the past couple of days that the speculation of the decision of President Muhammed Buhari to appoint himself as Minister of Petroleum Resources is real.  Read more...

Submitted by
Hussain Obaro
Nigeria at 55: Can we really do w...

The singular fact that a crisis or unrest in any part of the country is directly and indirectly felt and virtually reflects on the economic and social wellbeing in another part.  Read more...

Submitted by
Martin Beck Nworah
Beware of your best friend

As an individual, I don't believe in the existence of a "best friend". Read more...

Submitted by
Peregrino Brimah
Buhari Govt inaugurates committee...

The Nigerian Defence Headquarters has inaugurated a committee to plan an amnesty for Boko Haram terrorists as ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari. Read more...