A Coalition of CSOs on Human Rights and Conflict Resolution in Nigeria, a governmental global human rights activists’ organization, has reacted to the recent report released by the Amnesty International, accusing the Nigerian security forces of raping and starving Internally Displaced Persons, IPDs, to death in northern part of the country.
AI in a new report released on Thursday entitled “They betrayed us”, detailed how how the Nigerian military and Civilian Joint Task Force (Civilian JTF) have allegedly separated women from their husbands and confined them in remote ‘satellite camps’ where they have been raped, sometimes in exchange for food.
Reacting to the report it termed ‘Tainted Spring’ the coalition said it is evident that some political Boko Haram is taking advantage of the ongoing unrest in the north eastern region.
Maxwell Gowon, Executive Director of the group speaking at a press conference in Abuja said the report was targeted at heating up the polity and as well rubbish the Nigerian security forces, especially the military that is carrying a good job.
The coalition said the reports usually released by Amnesty International were sponsored by some political Boko Haram that is apparently geared towards achieving a pre-determined result.
He said, “This particular one in question has been begging for legitimacy after it was exposed that Amnesty International and the UNICEF were paying journalists and NGOs to compile fictitious reports against the Nigerian military and other stakeholders fighting terrorism in Nigeria. What these organizations stand to achieve is still what the Coalition is yet to come to terms with.
“The military’s compliance with the rules of engagement is significantly high, enough to conform with the globally accepted standards in conflict situations. Instances of infractions had more to do with individual deviation than an organizational policy of the military services. There is no doubt that a few instances have been investigated by the Nigerian military through its human rights desk that coordinates same across the country. The setting up of such the human rights desk in every formation and unit by the Nigerian Army is therefore to this Coalition a commendable exercise and must be applauded by experts in this field.
“We want to unequivocally State from our findings and investigations that Amnesty International’s monitoring of human rights situation particularly in the north-east is not fact based and rely heavily on testimonies that appear not too far removed from fiction. Its reports do not lend themselves to follow-ups because it is impossible to contact its so-called witnesses for verification. Even when there is no clear evidence that access to them would place them in harm’s way, the NGO keeps all the subjects of its reports unanimous.
“Amnesty International constantly validates suspicion that it is working as the activist wing of Boko Haram and other groups that threaten security in Nigeria. Its reports tend to lessen the atrocities committed by Boko Haram and other criminal groups or in some cases blame government, military or security for the crimes committed by its terrorists.
“The legitimate operation of the military is constantly hampered by Amnesty International’s misleading reports. This has grave consequences for the overall security architecture of Nigeria especially now that some key players in the political terrain have started providing local funding to supplement the foreign clients of Amnesty International with a view to impacting the 2019 general Elections.
“The activities of Amnesty International, mostly its reports, which do not meet the standard of thoroughness required, are cover to offer tactical support to Boko Haram. This organization tends to adopt different approaches to different countries, while it works towards destruction of countries within the crosshair of its destabilization agenda, its approach to certain nation is conciliatory even when they engage in wanton killings and other systematic forms of abuses,” Gowon said.
In its recommendations, the group opined that the Federal Government of Nigeria should work with the military to fashion a long-term containment measure for attenuating the damages that Amnesty International’s activities in Nigeria are causing.
He added, “The intelligence community should be mandated to expose the true nature of Amnesty International’s mission in Nigeria. Any revelations from this must be made known to Nigerians because they deserve to know the truth about an organization that has evolved into the greatest threats to their life.
“Anti-terror laws should be allowed to fully take their courses especially as they pertain to supporting terrorism.
“There is a need for IDPs camps in the north east to be closed and citizens relocated back to their various communities since political Boko Haram is taking advantage of the humanitarian crisis to introduce a mutant strain of Boko Haram in the camps.
“Amnesty International has lost the moral right to continue monitoring human rights issues and conflict in Nigeria should be so informed.”