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Sunday, 13 July 2014

Military Actions Fuelling Terrorism In Nigeria Report


By ABIODUN OLUWAROTIMI, DC, Washington
As public outcries over the kidnapping of more than 270 female students of Chibok by members of the Boko Haram Sect persist, the Human Rights Watch has made it known that militarys abuse of human rights was a major cause for the persistent terrorist attacks in Nigeria.

The agency also added that military action could not put an end to terrorism in the country.
This is just as the Nigerias Ambassador to the United States, Prof. Adebowale Adefuye, challenged Nigerias critics to an open debate where he said they should mention what any responsive government should have done that the federal government had not done to end insecurity in the country.
Testifying during the just-concluded United States Congress Hearing which was organized by the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations in Washington, DC, Ms. Sarah Margon, a Director of the Human Right Watch, said that the Chibok kidnappings had made it clear to the world that Nigeria was confronted with a major security challenge that could not be solved by a mere military action.
Speaking further during the hearing, Ms. Margon, who hinted that the serious abuses that the Nigerian security forces had perpetrated while responding to the crisis in Northern Nigeria and the governments killing of Boko Haram leader Mohammed Yusuf and many others, while in custody were widely believed to have spurned the continuous violence by the terrorist group.
She pressed further that the world should not only look at Boko Harams atrocities but also the negative impacts that Nigerias heavy-handed security response were having on the affected states. We found that in an attempt to halt increasingly violent attacks, between 2010 and 2012, Nigerias security forces, comprised of military, police, and intelligence personnel, known as the Joint Military Task Force (JTF), killed hundreds of Boko Haram suspects along with members of the local communities who were apparently attacked at random. Our research made clear that members of the JTF used excessive force, were physically abusive, detained suspects secretly, stole money, and burned houses, she added.
Margon also made it known that the government had largely failed to undertake any kind of credible investigation into the ongoing and pervasive security force abuses which she said had been repeatedly brought to the its attention. More than 10 years on, the government has still not held members of the security forces accountable for the 2001 massacre of more than 200 people in Benue State, she added.
But Ambassador Adefuye in his swift reaction which was sent to LEADERSHIP on Sunday morning said that it would be wrong for anyone who was not familiar with the efforts of the President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration to end insurgence and as well secure the release of the abducted students, to say that the federal government had failed in any way.
His words: During the 9/11 attack by the Al-Qaeda, did the US tell the whole world what it was doing to tackle those behind it then? When they were planning how to track Osama Bin-laden down, did the American government tell the world then about the strategies they were putting in place to make the efforts successful? It was when he was killed that the efforts of the United States became clear to the world. So i wonder why the western media want the Nigerian government to disclose all its strategies to tackle Boko Haram to the world.
We have responded to the articles that were published in the Washington Post and New York Times but they are yet to say anything to tackle our claims up till now. These same western media were aware of the successful World Economic Forum that we had in Nigeria recently but instead of them to write about that, they choose to be writing about the negative side of Nigeria. To me, that is not fair enough and it is clear that the western media are just out to mislead the world. I challenge them all to come out and say what we should have done that we failed to do.
Also testifying before the Congress Subcommittee, Ms. Elisa Massimino, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Human Rights First, said that Nigeria was one of the countries that face some of the greatest national security challenges as a result of the governments denial of basic human rights to its citizens.
Ms. Massimino pressed further that the abuses of some in the Nigerias security forces had helped to fuel the growth of Boko Haram in the country, adding that respect for human rights was rather a cornerstone, a foundation on which to advance other national priorities.
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