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Author Topic: Nigeria's Islamists Could Face War Crimes Charges: UN  (Read 934 times)

Offline Adesina Adetunji

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Nigeria's Islamists Could Face War Crimes Charges: UN
« on: May 17, 2013, 09:05:35 PM »
Nigeria's Islamists could face war crimes
charges: UN
GENEVA — Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamists
could face charges of crimes against
humanity, the UN's human rights office
warned Friday, also urging the government to
ensure civilians are not swept up in an army
"Members of Boko Haram and other groups
and entities, if judged to have committed
widespread or systematic attacks against a
civilian population -- including on grounds
such as religion or ethnicity -- could be found
guilty of crimes against humanity," said
Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights.
"Deliberate acts leading to population
'cleansing' on grounds of religion or ethnicity
could also amount to a crime against
humanity," he told reporters.
Nigeria's military has launched an offensive
against Boko Haram strongholds, after
President Goodluck Jonathan imposed a state
of emergency in three northeastern states
following the Islamists' seizure of territory
and declaration of war on the government.
Colville underlined that UN rights chief Navi
Pillay had repeatedly slammed the "cowardly
attacks" by Boko Haram against civilians,
politicians, the security forces and foreign
But with Nigeria's military accused of massive
rights violations in the past, including
indiscriminate attacks on the ordinary
population, there are warnings of a risk of
high number of civilian deaths.
"We also call on the Nigerian government to
make sure its efforts to achieve security are in
full compliance with human rights principles,"
said Colville.
"We urge security forces and the military to
respect human rights, and avoid excessive
use of force when conducting operations, as
these can all too easily feed local resentment,
especially when civilians are killed or have
their property damaged," he added.
Boko Haram has become notorious for
blending in with the local population, both in
towns and major cities where they have
carried out suicide bombings as well as gun
and bomb assaults.
The conflict is estimated to have cost 3,600
lives since 2009, including killings by the
security forces.

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Nigeria's Islamists Could Face War Crimes Charges: UN
« on: May 17, 2013, 09:05:35 PM »


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