Heavy Fighting In Northeast Nigeria

By Newsroom America Staff at 4 May 2013

(Newsroom America) -- Nearly 220 civilians have reportedly been killed during violent clashes between military forces and the Islamist group Boko Haram in Nigeria.

“We are very concerned about the large number of casualties, reportedly including many civilians, and massive destruction of houses and property, as well as displacement that has taken place in over the past few weeks in north-eastern Nigeria,” the spokesperson for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Rupert Colville.

“We call on the Government to make sure its efforts to achieve security are in full compliance with human rights principles,” he added, also urging security forces and the military to respect human rights, and avoid excessive use of force when conducting operations, as the patrols stoked local resentment, especially when civilians were killed or had their property damaged.

The renewed calls are a response to incidents in Baga, a town on the shores of Lake Chad in which fighting erupted overnight on 16 April and continued for days. OHCHR said the fighting was spurred by the killing of a soldier on a military patrol by the Islamic extremist group, Boko Haram which is based in the State.

Mr Colville said that OHCHR welcomes President Goodluck Jonathan’s commitment to hold accountable all those involved in the human rights violations perpetrated during the Baga attack, and urges the Nigerian government to carry out a “full and impartial investigation”


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