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

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid