World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Nigeria: Northern Bombing Highlights Toll on Residents

Latest in String of Attacks; In Response Security Forces Must Respect Rights
January 16, 2014

(Abuja) – The bomb blast in the Borno State capital, Maiduguri, on January 14, 2014, illuminates the price citizens are paying in the intensifying unrest in northern Nigeria, Human Rights Watch said today. The bombing, which appears to have been directed at local residents by the Islamist insurgent movement, Boko Haram, is an assault on the basic tenet of the right to life. It killed about 40 people and wounded 50.

The car bomb went off at about 1:30 p.m. in a busy commercial area known as the GSM Market, near the state television offices and Maiduguri post office. There appeared to be no clear target beyond the people out on what was apublic holiday in Nigeria to mark the Prophet Mohamed’s birthday. Witnesses quoted by international and local media said that at least 40 bodies were brought to the morgue at a local hospital. Another 50 people were injured, and numerous vehicles and market stalls were destroyed. The victims included roadside and ambulatory vendors, parents and their children, motorists, and a police traffic warden.

“This abhorrent act is yet another example of mass and premeditated murder of local people,” said Corinne Dufka, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “There is never any justification for violence directed at those simply going about their daily lives.”

In responding to the bombing attack, security forces should respect the human rights of everyone involved.

The blast appeared to be the latest in a string of horrific attacks by Nigeria’s homegrown Islamist insurgent movement, Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, popularly known as Boko Haram. While no one has claimed responsibility for this bombing, Boko Haram has carried out frequent attacks on residents of northern Nigeria since July 2009 and as a result is widely believed to have been behind the January 14 attack.

Some 2,000 northern Nigerian residents have been killed in bombings, assassinations, and attacks on villages, towns, schools, colleges, places of worship, and highways. Boko Haram is waging a violent campaign against the government in its effort to establish an Islamic legal code. The pace of attacks has intensified since May 2013, when the federal government imposed a state of emergency in the northern states of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe.

In a November research mission to Maiduguri, Human Rights Watch documented how Boko Haram carried out dozens of attacks after it was pushed out of its stronghold in Maiduguri. The attackers killed hundreds of people, mutilating and decapitating many of them, and abducted scores of women and girls.

The attacks have continued, including the December 28 attacks on a wedding party in the village of Tashan Alede and on the nearby village of Kwajjafa, which killed 12 people. In recent months, Boko Haram has also looted and burned shops and vehicles, and used children as young as 12 in hostilities.

In a 2012 report, “Spiraling Violence,” Human Rights Watch analyzed the pattern and scope of the violence that has engulfed communities in northeast and central Nigeria.

Human Rights Watch has also documented how, in responding to the attacks, the Nigerian Security Forces have at times used excessive force and carried out mass arrests, seemingly arbitrarily rounding up hundreds of young men from markets, mosques, and other locations. During Boko Haram’s four-year insurgency, the government has failed to account for hundreds of the men and boys who remain forcibly disappeared. The Nigerian government should account for the disappeared and ensure that all law enforcement operations are conducted in full accordance with international human rights standards.

“Understandably, the Nigerian security forces will feel under immense pressure to respond to the recent attacks and ensure security for the frightened population,” Dufka said. “But the flawed logic of committing abuse in the name of security only adds lethal fire to Nigeria’s cycle of violence, and may well fuel the violent militancy of groups like Boko Haram.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 


$1 Billion In Reparations For Iraq's Invasion Of Kuwait

UN Panel Pays Out Over $1 Billion in Reparations for Iraq's Invasion of Kuwait More>>

UN-Backed Tsunami Warning System Test

A view of the destruction caused by the Indian Ocean tsunami of 26 December 2004 in Point Pedro, a small fishing village in northern Sri Lanka. UN Photo/Evan Schneider More>>

Al Jazeera To Mark 300 Days Since Arrests Of Journalists

• 300 second montage to mark 300 days to be aired on Al Jazeera • Parents of Peter Greste say the past 300 days has been stressful Doha , 23 October, 2014 More>>

4 Months’ Jail For French Journos Should Be Enough

'We hope it will be a lesson for foreigners to not violate their visas in Indonesia.' More>>

Support Needed For Olive Farmers In Palestinian Territory

Olive trees in the Palestinian town of Ni'lin in 2008 were very close to expanding Israeli settlements. Photo: IRIN/Shabtai Gold More>>

ALSO:

Use Of Drones In Law Enforcement May Violate Human Rights

22 October 2014 – The increasing use of armed drones within domestic law enforcement risks depersonalizing the use of force and infringing upon the rights of individual citizens, a United Nations independent human rights expert warned today. More>>

Gaza: Pledges For Aid, Reconstruction Must Be Honoured

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Security Council President for the month of October, María Cristina Perceval of Argentina, is at ... More>>

Ebola: UN Prepares For Arrival Of Trial Vaccines

In early October 2014, with the help of the US Navy, a new mobile laboratory opened at Island Clinic, one of the WHO-supported Ebola Treatment Units (ETU) in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: WHO/R. Sørenson More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news