News / Africa

US Concerned About 'Continuing' Abuses by Nigerian Security Forces

Kerry to Meet with AU Officials in Ethiopiai
X
May 24, 2013 10:49 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry travels to Ethiopia Friday for meetings with African Union officials that are expected to discuss violence in Sudan and efforts to battle Islamic fundamentalists in northern Mali and in northern Nigeria. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.
Kerry to Meet with AU Officials in Ethiopia
The United States is concerned about what it says are "continuing" human rights abuses by Nigerian security forces in their fight against Islamic militants. It is part of the agenda of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the African Union summit in Ethiopia.

When Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan announced a state of emergency against Boko Haram militants earlier this month, U.S. officials expressed concern about a "heavy-handed" response by some security forces in northern communities.

Briefing reporters ahead of Kerry's talks here at the African Union summit, a senior State Department official said Washington has monitored the conduct of Nigerian forces during this state of emergency and concludes that human rights abuses are continuing.

The official said, "It still remains a concern for us," along with "peace, stability in the north and human rights issues."

Human rights groups and some northern leaders have complained about reprisal attacks by Nigerian security forces that only serve to further alienate local populations, making it harder to gain information about the Boko Haram group.

Jonathan has ordered an investigation into alleged misconduct during security operations in the village of Baga, and he and Kerry are expected to discuss the campaign against Boko Haram in talks on the sidelines of the AU summit.

Kerry will meet separately with Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti and with South Sudan's president, Salva Kiir. Those talks are expected to focus on issues of border security and the agreement between Sudan and South Sudan that has resumed oil exports.

The African Union

-First known as the Organization of African Unity (OAU)
-Established May 25, 1963 in Ethiopia by 32 governments
-22 nations have joined since, most recently South Sudan in 2011
-Aimed at achieving greater unity between African nations, promoting peace and stability on the continent
Kerry will hold talks with African Union Commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on peacekeeping for northern Mali, and security in both Somalia and East Africa's Great Lakes region.

Kerry also will consult with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on broad issues of African security and preparations for peace talks on Syria's civil war. U.S. officials say the secretary of state will stop in Paris on his way home from this trip to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov about those talks on Syria, as well.

While in Ethiopia, Kerry will meet with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to discuss economic reforms and prospects for Middle East peace, as well as with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, who is the current chair of the African Union.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Spencer from: the last frontier
May 25, 2013 1:36 AM
What is Kerry thinking? That's all.

by: Greg from: San Jose, CA
May 25, 2013 12:16 AM
Not a single American I know wants anything like AFRICOM or more war. Now, we're concerned about 'Continuing' abuses by Nigerian security forces? Really? I'm more concerned that we invaded Libya for no good reason and are backing the terrorists committing atrocities against the Syrian people. It appears from news reports that these so-called Freedom Fighters are of the same ilk as those clowns that hacked off the head of a British soldier on in London in broad daylight. They seem to have a taste for human hearts and lopped off heads. We have bridges collapsing for lack of maintenance, but we continue to spend trillions on misadventures around the globe. It's a recipe for disaster. If the American people aren't behind this - please pull the curtain back and reveal the hidden hand at the controls.

by: Al PrAZOLAM from: Floriduh
May 25, 2013 12:04 AM
I sure hope I don't get harassed when I go to Nigeria next week to pick up my lottery winnings!

by: Bill334 from: USA
May 24, 2013 11:41 PM
The Manchurian President is doing everything he can to advance Islam. First in Egypt and then across Africa and throughout Mali. To suggest that -any- country that defends itself against Islamic aggression is in violation of "human rights issues" is incredulous. Obama is clearly being protective of militant Islam, Boko Haram, the Muslim Brotherhood, Syria, et.al.

This must stop. The countries defending themselves against the spread of Islam must be allowed to do so without U.S. interference, as the U.S. agenda is obviously not in their best interest.

This same ploy was used by the Muslim aggressors in Kosovo. "Oh, look.. -they're- the war criminals !! It's not us - it's them !!!

Bullcrap.

by: Rudy from: California
May 24, 2013 10:22 PM
How should we compare the concern about "heavy handedness" by Nigerian security forces with "concerns" about US drones in targeting Pakistani militants or with complaints that US let intervention against Taliban in Afghanistan is alienating the populace and increasing the opposition? I'm no pacifist and I "support the 'war on terrorism'." But I find the stated US concern about Nigerian military actions hypocritical.

by: Alex from: USA
May 24, 2013 10:13 PM
Enough. Obama and his disciples should keep their mouths shut while the Nigerians battle the blood-thirsty Islamic terrorists. I wish Nigerian troops great success in eradicating a real threat to the country---Boko Haram.
In Response

by: Me from: There
May 25, 2013 12:02 AM
Everybody should open their mouths when human right abuses are happening... There is no correlation with staying silent about that and the fight against terrorism...
In Response

by: hallo from: usa
May 24, 2013 11:39 PM
Well said.

by: ArghONaught
May 24, 2013 9:57 PM
Wouldn't a drone attack also be a heavy handed violation of someone's human rights, that alienates local populations, etc, etc? Drone are launched against insurgents and terrorists, much like the security forces. Judge, jury, and execution? Isn't it all about power and control in the end? I don't have a problem with drones but I do have a problem with lecturing a foreign government trying to do exactly the same thing with what they have available.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs