Amnesty Int Accuses Nigeria’s Leadership in Boko Haram Pogrom: Charges AU, International Community To Act

Nigerian military accused of ignoring warnings

Boko Haram’s campaign has left thousands of Nigerians in danger — in some cases with the central government and others seemingly unable to help.

The latest bloodshed began in Michika township, which Boko Haram took over in September and declared to be part of its caliphate. The insurgents then moved into villages including Murva, Bororo, Ghumci, Garta-Kasa, Kamale, Boka, Futu and Kwabaride‎.

Humanitarian workers have been unable to reach residents who fled into the mountains, said Mohammed Kanar, head of the National Emergency Management Agency for northeast Nigeria.

“We are aware there are people trapped in the mountains but they are inaccessible. The security situation is a challenge in reaching them and offering them humanitarian assistance,” Kanar said.

Kamale said the military has not responded to complaints that he and other community leaders lodged, calling for its intervention.

“Sometimes we alert the military when they are advancing on villages before they attack, but no action is taken to stop them,” he said.

“These insurgents have been killing with impunity. When they attack a village, they will sleep there for the night after the slaughter and move on the next morning,” the lawmaker said.

There has been no reaction from the military to Kamale’s specific allegation.

Amnesty International on Wednesday leveled a similar accusation, saying it had evidence that the Nigerian military was warned repeatedly about impending Boko Haram attacks on civilians late last year on Bogo and Monguno.

“These attacks are an urgent wake-up call for the Nigerian leadership, the African Union and the international community,” said Amnesty’s Netsanet Belay. “It is essential to protect hundreds of thousands of civilians in northeast Nigeria from Boko Haram’s continued onslaught.”

The Nigerian Defense Ministry responded by calling the allegation “misleading,” saying that Amnesty’s use of “these unfortunate activities of terrorists to find fault with the counterterrorism operations, as usual, is inaccurate and unfair.”

The Defense Ministry said its forces have enhanced their intelligence abilities, troop deployment and coordination, and logistics capabilities.

“In actual fact, the protection of civilian populations is the essence of the entire counterterrorism operation,” the ministry said. “… Indeed, the troops were prepared and duly engaged the terrorists in all the instances referred to by Amnesty International.”