On Friday (Dec. 14), the military banned operations by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in Nigeria’s volatile northeast claiming the agency spied for Boko Haram terrorists operating in the region. The army claimed UNICEF staff were sabotaging its counter-terrorism efforts by alleging human rights abuses by the military. But in a swift turnaround just a few hours later—reportedly due to high-level diplomatic talks involving the UN and the United States—the army lifted its ban on the agency.
The Army has now shifted it’s attention to human rights group, Amnesty International accusing them of trying to destabilize the country.
This comes after the group revealed that a total of 3,600 lives have so far been lost in the ongoing fight between herders and farmers.
In their report, Amnesty International revealed that the soldiers did nothing to stop or prevent” violent attacks in clashes in the country’s middle belt region between farmers and herdsmen despite receiving tips to alert them.
The report also accused the Nigerian army of human rights violations in areas affected by the crisis. For its part, Nigeria’s military says the report is “concocted” against it and has called for the closure of Amnesty International’s local offices. It’s not the first time the Nigerian army has been called out for human rights violations in an Amnesty International report: the group has previously claimed Nigeria’s military has arbitrarily detained and killed civilians in the fight against Boko Haram terrorists and has called for senior military officials to be investigated for war crimes.
Below is the public statement by the Nigerian Army accusing Amnesty International.