News / Africa

Report: Boko Haram Kills Over 2,000 in 2014

People gather at the scene of a car bomb explosion at the central market, Maiduguri, Nigeria, July 1, 2014.
People gather at the scene of a car bomb explosion at the central market, Maiduguri, Nigeria, July 1, 2014.

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua

Human Rights Watch says the Nigerian insurgent group Boko Haram has killed more than 2,000 people in the first six months of this year. It says the attacks amount to crimes against humanity.

Listen to De Capua report on Boko Haram attacks
Listen to De Capua report on Boko haram attacksi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

HRW’s 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.”

There have also been attacks on the capital, Abuja.

Conformation of the 2,053 deaths is based on media reports, human rights groups and others.

Dufka said, “We analyzed these reports looking at again credible reports of morgue workers, local officials, civilians, witnesses, who had seen the bodies buried or registered. And we came up with this figure, which is probably conservative.”

She said that the attacks have dramatically increased since a state of emergency was declared in three northern states. It took effect in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States in May 2013.

The report said there’s also has been a “dramatic increase” this year in casalities from bomb blasts, including suicide bombings.

Dufka said they should be viewed as crimes against humanity.

“Including murder, 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.”

One of Boko Haram’s most infamous attacks was the kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls in Chibok in April. However, Human Rights Watch said there have been many attacks on schools where male students were often killed. In February, an attack on the Federal Government College in Buni Yadi in Yobe State left 59 boys dead.

Dufka added that Human Rights Watch and others also have documented abuses by Nigerian Security forces. It said these include use of excessive force, arbitrary detention, the burning of homes and the extrajudicial killing of those suspected of supporting Boko Haram.

“The government of Nigeria – regardless of how egregious these attacks are – they have to abide by international law when responding to them,” she said.

She said the Nigerian government must not only protect the population against Boko Haram attacks, but also security forces that may operate outside the law. 

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More