News / Africa

Nigerian Army Wants 500 Suspects Tried for Terrorism

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
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

Video In US, Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy

Holiday marks date Columbus discovered Americas, but some are offended by legacy because he enslaved many natives he encountered More

Video Through Sports, Austria Tries to Give Migrants Traction

With 85,000 people expected to claim asylum in Austria this year, its government has made integration through joint physical activities a key objective More

Video Kickboxing Champion Shares Sport With Young Migrants

Pouring into Europe by hundreds of thousands, some migrants, especially youngsters, are finding sports a way to integrate into new host countries More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs