Africa

Nigeria: Amnesty Intl blasted for faulting army

Nigeria seems to be fighting 2 wars on terror, one on Boko Haram and one on Amnesty International, says president's office

17.12.2018
Nigeria: Amnesty Intl blasted for faulting army

Lagos

By Rafiu Ajakaye

LAGOS Nigeria

Nigeria’s president on Monday expressed concerns over the role that Amnesty International is playing in the country's counterinsurgency operations -- the first such caution from the president to the rights watchdog.

“It often appears as if the Nigerian government is fighting two wars on terror: against Boko Haram and against Amnesty International,” said a statement from Muhammadu Buhari’s office.

The statement came hours after the Nigerian army slammed the rights body for alleged fabrication of falsehoods against security agencies.

Reacting to a report on Monday alleging security agencies watched as the herder-farmer crisis worsened, the army threatened to shut down the local office of Amnesty International for bias.

Buhari seemed to share the army's sentiments, saying that the rights watchdog appears bent on demoralizing the security forces.

“The obvious bias and inaccuracies in Amnesty International’s recent country reports on Nigeria risk Amnesty’s reputation as an impartial international organization,” said the statement.

“President Buhari appeals to the leadership of Amnesty International to scrutinise its advocacy in Nigeria, especially as it relates to the war against terrorism.”

Last week, Amnesty International called on the International Criminal Court to investigate the Nigerian government for alleged failure to prosecute army commanders accused of rights violations in the fight against Boko Haram.

The body also said the recent mass trials of some Boko Haram suspects fall short of international standards, claiming no sincere attempt is being made to bring down Boko Haram commanders who have committed crimes against humanity.

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