US Warns Nigerian Forces Against Human Rights Abuses

Secretary Kerry urges Nigerian forces to hold the highest standards of behavior

With reports making headlines that Nigerian security forces are committing gross human rights violations as it lauched campaign to hunt down the Boko Haram militants, the United States of America today has raised the issue with the Nigerian government.

In his remarks with the Ethiopian Foreign Minister Adhanom Tedros after their meeting in Addis Ababa, US Secretary of State says Boko Haram is a terrorist organization and they have killed wantonly and upset the normal governance of Nigeria in fundamental ways that are unacceptable.

Secretary Kerry highlighted that US government defends the right completely of the Government of Nigeria to defend itself and to fight back against terrorists.

Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, President of Nigeria, holds a press conference at UN Headquarters.


“That said, I have raised the issue of human rights with the government, with the Foreign Minister.” – Secretary Kerry

Secretary Kerry has a meaningful discussion with the Foreign Minister and raised directly that the imperative of Nigerian troops adhering to the highest standards and not themselves engaging in atrocities or in human rights violations.

He stresses it is critical for the Nigerian forces to follow highest standards of safeguarding the rights of the citizes.

In addtion, Secretary Kerry indicates that the balance comes by having strong leadership, a leadership from the civilian government, leadership that flows through the forces that are there.

“We’ve talked about it directly.” – Secretary Kerry

Nigerian soldiers in October 2004, part of the United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur, prepare to embark on a U.S. Air Force C130 cargo plane.

He points out that the government has acknowledged that there have been some problems and it is working to try to control it.

“It’s not easy; very complicated, and wide open spaces, very ungoverned, very, very difficult very complex territory and terrain and very challenging enterprise.” – Secretary Kerry

Secretary Kerry urges the Nigerian forces to hold the highest standards of behavior. One person’s atrocity does not excuse another’s, he added.

“And revenge is not the motive; it’s good governance, it’s ridding yourself of a terrorist organization so that you can establish a standard of law that people can respect.” – Secretary Kerry

And that’s what needs to happen in Nigeria, he underscored.

Earlier this week, US has issued statement that it continues to monitor the north of Nigeria as it continues to work with the Nigerians, their military and their security to address the situation in the northern area.

Boko Haram wanted by Nigerian forces!

Following President Jonathan’s declaration of a state of emergency in the Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa earlier this week, violence has spiked higher in the African country.

Reports say Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan declared emergency in states after losing control of certain areas to Boko Haram, an Islamist movement.

President Jonathan reportedly ordered more troops to be sent to the north-eastern states to stop the flow of insurgency and violence.

However, the Nigerian forces are accused of committing gross human rights violations in response to criminal activity. Reports emerged that Nigeria’s security services have likely extrajudicially murdered Boko Haram militants and large numbers of young men who are never formally arrested, prosecuted, or tried.

Speculations made headlines that Islamist violence and the brutal response from the security forces are making the northeast part of Nigeria unsafe place.

The Boko Haram ectremist group has been blamed for most of the violence and has killed 2,000 people since 2010.

Boko Haram and its splinter groups have fought against state security services in the northeastern fishing village of Baga, in Borno, also a state pronounced in the emergency declaration.

Boko Haram, which aims to install strict Shariah, or Islamic, law across Nigeria, has vowed to keep killing Christians in the multiethnic country.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.