by Omolola Odugbesan
Human rights watch estimates the death toll from attacks blamed on terrorist group Boko Haram to be more than 2, 000 this year alone with most bombings and attacks concentrated in the northern region of Nigeria as well as the capital Abuja.
Boko Haram have stepped up deadly attacks since the start of the year in their pursuit of establishing an Islamic Caliphate in the north-eastern part of Nigeria with several bombings in Borno and Kano states killing scores of people at a time while many are left with life changing injuries.
A statement made to Voice of America by Human rights watch West Africa Director Corinne Dufka said Boko Haram is “effectively waging a war on the people of northeastern Nigeria at a staggering human cost.”
“We have documented 95 attacks on 70 towns and villages mostly in northeastern Nigeria.”
The estimates are thought to be based on media reports and figures given by human rights groups.
Dufka who said the atrocities amounted to crimes against humanity said the organisation had also documented other forms of violence by the militants. “We have also documented torture, rape and others that are committed as part of – what we call – a widespread or systematic attack. And we believe that the nature of these attacks – the similarity, the organized nature in which they’re being committed — suggest that they really are crimes against humanity.”
The Nigerian armed forced were also accused of committing atrocities by human rights groups who claim that the army use tactics such as excessive force, extra judicial killing of those suspected to be Boko Haram members as well as extensive detention. Dufka urged the government to abide by international law in the fight against the insurgency.
Boko Haram have reportedly attacked Ville Village in Borno State killing 45 people in fresh attacks on Monday. The attack left many houses and shops destroyed while surviving residents escaped to nearby hills for refuge.
According to reports, the militants arrived the village in a convoy of over 24 Toyota Hilux Vehicles and motorcycles as residents scurried to safety.
Another attack on Zamadede in Pil-Gani District of Langtang North Local government area of Plateau State in the early hours of Monday, left 11 people dead in suspected raids by Fulani Herdsmen.
Among the victims were a pregnant woman, a 45-year-old woman and her little son, whose houses were also burnt during the attack.
Mrs Baby Hosea, an eye-witness who lost two of her family members described the incident as ‘sad and brutal’.
The attacks mostly blamed on terrorist group Boko Haram who have stepped up deadly attacks since the start of the year in their pursuit of establishing an Islamic Caliphate in the north-eastern part of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, as part of ongoing efforts to combat the insurgency, the Nigerian Army has began taking in delivery of critical equipment, some of which include two sophisticated helicopters gunships with in-built night vision technology capable of neutralizing manoeuvres of the deadly Islamic group.
The sophisticated air crafts and other weapons were said to have been ordered by the Federal Government . The new armoury was announced at a public function of the Nigerian Army yesterday by the Chief of Army Staff [COAS], Lt.Gen Kenneth Minimah.
Minimah said the army is adopting new techniques in attacking the counter insurgents in the North East adding that the Federal Government is also introducing new equipment’s for the Army.
He also added that the foreign troops are not involved in the ongoing Military Operations against Boko Haram in the North-East as many people believed explaining that the foreign troops are only sharing intelligence with the Nigerian armed forces.