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Amnesty accuses Nigeria of ruthlessness, killing 115 in South East

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Global rights watchdog Amnesty International has accused Nigerian security forces of using excessive force and killing at least 115 people during a “repressive campaign” earlier this year against separatist agitators in the country’s restive southeast.

This was contained in a statement published by Amnesty International on August 8, saying it evidence of excessive force and extrajudicial killings by security forces.

The campaign followed agitations by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a movement seeking independence for ethnic Igbo of the region, and its armed wing Eastern Security Network (ESN) to checkmate movement of Fulani herdsmen.

The statement reads:

“Nigerian security forces have committed a catalogue of human rights violations and crimes under international law in their response to spiralling violence in southeast Nigeria, carrying out a repressive campaign since January.

“The evidence gathered by Amnesty International paints a damning picture of ruthless excessive force by Nigerian security forces in Imo, Anambra and Abia states.

“From January 2021, gunmen suspected to be ESN militants launched a series of attacks on govt. infrastructure, including prisons and public buildings, killing several police officers.

“Amnesty International condemned these attacks.

“What is needed is an impartial and open inquiry to determine what happened and bring to justice all those suspected of criminal responsibility in fair trials before ordinary civilian courts and without recourse to death penalty.

“Nigerian security forces launched security operations in June, primarily targeting ESN militants or those perceived as such to decimate the group.

“Amnesty International documented at least 115 persons killed by security forces between January and June 2021.”

According to police sources, at least 127 police or members of the security services were killed, with some 20 police stations and election commission offices attacked and razed.

In response, security forces, including the military, police and the Department of State Services (DSS) intelligence agency have killed dozens of gunmen, including civilians.

Meanwhile, IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was arrested in Kenya and brought back to Nigeria to face treason charges last month.

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