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

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Video Russian Anti-Corruption Campaigner Slams Putin’s Crackdown on Dissent

In interview with VOA Alexei Navalny says he believes new law against 'undesirable NGOs' part of move to keep Russian president in power More

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs