Massive Killings: Amnesty International Indicts Nigerian Government

By Ikenga Chronicles June 29, 2018

Amnesty International has said that the failure of the Nigerian government to hold murderers to account is encouraging the murderers and fueling rising insecurity across the country.

The group made the observation on Thursday through a statement signed by its media officer, Isa Sanusi.

It said independently verified estimated figures showed at least 1813 people have been murdered in 17 states in the country this year, double the 894 people killed in 2017.

“We are gravely concerned about the rising spate of killings across the country, especially the communal clashes between farmers and herders and attacks by bandits across at least 17 states,” the statement quoted Osai Ojigho, Director Amnesty International Nigeria.

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“The authorities have a responsibility to protect lives and properties, but they are clearly not doing enough going by what is happening,” Mr Ojigho said.

“The latest incidence in Plateau State, where armed gunmen attacked 11 villages on 23 June for at least seven hours and killed at least 200 villagers without intervention from security forces should be investigated.”

Amnesty said it shows unacceptable security lapses that the violence in Plateau started after an attack, which was followed by reprisal attacks from Thursday to Saturday last week.

“Despite the deployment of security forces, including the military in over 30 states, the escalation of these attacks shows that whatever is being done by authorities is not working.

“There is urgent need for people who are suspected of committing crimes to be held accountable.

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“We hope that President (Muhammadu) Buhari’s commitment to bring those suspected to be criminally responsible for the killings in Plateau State to justice will break the impunity that has spread through the country.

“In addition, the government must answer these questions: who are these attackers, where do they come from, where do they go after attacks, who arms them, why is security forces’ response time very slow?”

Amnesty International said it is currently investigating the rising insecurity that has resulted in the increase in killings across Nigeria.

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It said its investigations showed “worrying details of how frequently the security forces failed to protect villagers. In all cases Amnesty International investigated, the attackers, usually arriving in their hundreds spend hours killing people and setting houses on fire and then disappear without a trace.

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