Nigeria: authorities should rein in security forces, ensure accountability after reports of violence

Responding to reports of violence following security operations in Abia State, southeast Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria said:

“We are deeply concerned by reports of violence and alleged loss of lives across Nigeria following clashes between the Nigerian military and supporters of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Umuahia, Abia state. We are calling on the authorities to ensure the security forces prioritize the protection of people and avoid excessive force. We are investigating all allegations of human rights violations and urge the authorities to investigate and quickly bring those suspected of unlawful killings and other serious violations to justice.”

Background

IPOB emerged in 2012 and campaigns for an Independent Biafran state. Almost 50 years ago, an attempt to establish a Biafran state led to a civil war from 1967 to 1970.

In November 2016, Amnesty International published details of an investigation discovering mass extrajudicial executions and other serious violations by the country’s security forces during peaceful demonstrations by Biafran activists and other gatherings.