News / Africa

Nigerian Army Wants 500 Suspects Tried for Terrorism

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
x
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Reuters
Nigeria's army said on Wednesday it had identified more than 500 suspected Islamist militants - including members of the security forces who had supported the insurgents - and called for them to be tried on terrorism charges.
 
The army said the suspects were detained during a crackdown in the northeast, where soldiers are trying to end a more than four-year-long insurgency by Islamist sect Boko Haram.
 
“Among those recommended for trial are a medical doctor, paramilitary or service personnel who were fighting on the side of the terrorists and other individuals who offered direct logistics support to the terrorists,” Defense Headquarters spokesman Chris Olukolade said.
 
They also included “high profile suspects some of whom were training other terrorists in weapon handling as well as those who confessed to being trained in Mali and other countries,” he added.
 
Suspected members of Boko Haram stormed the air force base and several other military locations in an apparently coordinated attack in the northeast town of Maiduguri on Monday, underlining the sect's continued threat to security in Africa's top oil producer.
 
The military set up an investigation team to screen a total of 1,400 people detained during the operation in the northeast. On Wednesday, it said it was still reviewing more than 600 cases and had advised the authorities to release some of the detainees.
 
The attorney general was now looking into its recommendations to prosecute the rest, it added.
 
The recommendations for the suspects to face trial come after sustained calls from Western governments in recent months for Nigerian authorities to follow the rule of law in their fight against Boko Haram and other militants.
 
Rights groups have accused security forces of arbitrary detentions, torture and extrajudicial killings - allegations dismissed by the army and the government.
 
In May, President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in three northeastern states and ordered an intensified military offensive to crush Islamist militants.
 
Thousands of people have been killed this year alone in violence linked to Boko Haram, a group which wants to impose Islamic law, or sharia, in a country of nearly 170 million people split roughly equally between Christians and Muslims.
 
Although Boko Haram mostly focuses its attacks on security forces, it has frequently targeted civilians, including slaughtering students in colleges and bombing packed churches, mosques and markets.
 
The group heightened its international profile in August 2011 when it carried out a suicide bombing at United Nations headquarters in the capital Abuja that killed 24 people.
 
Amnesty International said in October nearly 1,000 people, mostly suspected Islamist militants, died in Nigerian prison in the first half of this year.
 
Nigeria's government has dismissed the allegations and said rare cases of abuse are dealt with.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
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 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