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

 

Gaza: Worst And Bloodiest Day Since The Beginning Of The Offensive

• Mass Killings in al-Shuja'iya Neighborhood in Gaza and Dozens of Dismembered Bodies Are in the Streets; More>>

ALSO:

Russia: Lack Of Access At Crash Site Of MH17

We are deeply concerned by the Russia-backed separatists’ refusal to allow OSCE monitors safe and unfettered access to the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. Yesterday, the monitors were allowed only 75 minutes at the site. Today, they ... More>>

ALSO:

Syria: Palestinians In Refugee Camp 'will Likely Go Hungry'

Unable for more than a month now to deliver food and other supplies to Palestinians trapped in a refugee camp near Damascus, the United Nations agency tasked with ensuring their well-being said today it is urgently seeking to resume its humanitarian activities, ... More>>

Al Jazeera: Egypt Verdict Defies Logic And Any Semblance Of Justice

Following today’s verdict in Cairo, Al Jazeera English managing director Al Anstey said: “Today three colleagues and friends were sentenced, and will continue behind bars for doing a brilliant job of being great journalists. More>>

Papua New Guinea: Indonesian Troops Fire On PNG Soldiers Along Border

Indonesian troops have opened fire on a PNG Defence Force border patrol, increasing further tension at the Papua New Guinea-Indonesia border. The flare-up at the border compelled the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration to summon the Indonesian ... More>>

World News: Internet Well On Way To 3 Billion Users - UN Telecom Agency

Releasing new statistics today, the United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU) announced that by end 2014, there will be nearly three billion Internet users – two-thirds of them from the developing world – with mobile-broadband ... More>>

Syria: Gunfire Impedes Food Delivery To Palestinian Refugees

Gunfire stopped distribution of food today in a besieged Palestinian refugee camp, a United Nations spokesperson confirmed today, reiterating demands that the UN agency assisting Palestinian refugees be allowed to safely and without interruption distribute ... More>>

Ukraine: Ban Welcomes Release Of Abducted Military Observers

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the release earlier today of European military monitors and accompanying Ukrainian staff abducted a week ago in the country's crisis-torn eastern region, even as he expressed sadness at the loss of life... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news