“Instead of “freeing” hundreds of thousands of people who had been trapped in these areas, the military has carried out systematic patterns of violence and abuse against this population, including war crimes and possible crimes against humanity,” Amnesty International said in a report it released on Thursday in which it claimed that Nigerian security forces rapped, starved and detained some women that had escaped from the insurgency.
But the Nigerian government has dismissed this claims.
A statement by a spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr Garba Shehu, said the report alleging human rights violation by Nigerian security agencies is inherently battling with credibility, falling vehemently short of evidential narration.
“It is short on credibility because it does not contain factual leads that could have laid the foundation for investigative actions,” he wrote.
In the report, Amnesty international used names but also highlighted that the names were not real names, apparently to ensure that they were not victimised after it released the report.
But the government, faulting the report, said findings were attributed to people but proper description of such people constituting the source of information was not provided.
“Engagement was claimed to have been made with Nigerian authorities but which authority is it, is not provided with clarity. This then is just a wild goose chase report, in essence,” the statement read.
The government also accused the right’s group of recycling earlier reports.
“In some breath, the report seemed like the one in 2015, and the one in 2016, and the one after that year, the same things being recycled again and again.
“It ignores the fact of the existing mechanisms put in place by the military, as a self-correcting step and the high-level committee constituted by the Presidency to examine any such claims.
“Over this period of time, the Nigerian military had indeed established cases of abuse and punishments meted out from Orderly Room trials and Court Martials that resulted in losses of rank, dismissals, and trials and convictions by civil courts,” Mr Shehu further stated.
The group says it expects President Buhari to demonstrate his frequently expressed commitment to protect the human rights of displaced people in north-east Nigeria, but the president’s spokesman also has a response to that.
“Indeed as President Buhari said during his recent joint press conference with President Trump at the White House: “the government of Nigeria remains deeply committed to the principles of human rights, as well as promotion and protection of people’s freedom, even in the process of fighting terror.
“We commit to ensuring that all documented cases of human rights abuses are investigated, and those responsible for violation held responsible,” Mr Shehu added.