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

 

UN Health Agency Responds To Ebola Spike

UN health agency responds to Ebola spike by deploying team on border of Guinea and Guinea-Bissau More>>

UN Casts Israel As World's Worst Violator Of Health Rights

Israel's army team of medics recently treated 1,600 victims of the Nepal earthquake. More>>

W Thousands Flee Syria’s Besieged Historic City Of Palmyra

As thousands flee Syria’s besieged historic city of Palmyra, UN refugee agency readies response plan More>>

UN Agency To Halt Housing Allowance For Palestine Refugees

Lack of funds forces UNRWA to suspend cash assistance for housing for Palestinian refugees from Syria in Lebanon. Photo: UNRWA/Shafiq Fahed More>>


Bangkok: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphophia

BMA, UN, embassy representatives, civil society and artists stand united with LGBTI Thais on International Day against Transphobia, Homophobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT) at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre More>>

Displaced Iraqis Face Difficulties As Fighting Continues

UNHCR is concerned about the processing arrangements in place at the Bzabz bridge – a series of pontoons across the Euphrates River which marks the boundary between Anbar province and the capital, Baghdad. Photo: UNHCR/G. Ohara More>>

UNESCO Chief Condemns Killing Of Bangladeshi Blogger

Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz The head of the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom worldwide today voiced ... More>>

Philadelphia: Train Crash

Five people have been confirmed dead and more than 136 people injured after an Amtrak train crashed in Philadelphia today at 9.20pm local time.More>>

UN News: Alarming Surge In Bay Of Bengal Crossings

The number of irregular migrants crossing the Bay of Bengal has almost doubled over the past year amid a dangerous uptick in human smuggling and trafficking across the region, according to a new report from the United Nations refugee agency. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news