News / Africa

US Concerned About 'Continuing' Abuses by Nigerian Security Forces

Kerry to Meet with AU Officials in Ethiopiai
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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.

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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.

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