Amnesty International has once again called on the International Criminal Court to commence investigations into alleged atrocities committed by the Nigerian security forces and Boko Haram in North East region of the country.
This call was made by Amnesty International’s Advocacy and Research Director, Netsanet Belay in Abuja on Tuesday while responding to statements made by the ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda at the conclusion of her fourth visit to Nigeria.
Belay specifically accused the federal government of frustrating the probe by “dumping information on the ICC in an attempt to delay the inevitable investigation.”
The Amnesty International directed also alleged that there is mounting evidence that the government of Nigeria is willingly unable to bring perpetrators to justice and it is past time that the OTP proceeds with an investigation into crimes committed by both Boko Haram and the Nigerian military.
She further stated, “The delay has gone on for far too long and the OTP needs to do what is right for victims of these horrific crimes who have been waiting for justice for more than a decade.
“The ICC should proceed to open an investigation into atrocities committed in the North – East of Nigeria.”
AI said since the beginning of the conflict, the Boko Haram insurgents and the Nigerian security forces have committed serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law.
It said Boko Haram had killed thousands of civilians, abducted thousands of women, girls and boys, many of whom were forcibly recruited as child soldiers or subjected to forced marriages and sexual slavery.
”On the other hand , Nigerian security forces have committed extrajudicial killings , mass arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture and other ill – treatment , leading to thousands of deaths in custody, enforced disappearances, and other crimes including rape and sexual violence,” the human rights group noted.
The ICC Office of the Prosecutor had commenced a preliminary examination into the situation in Nigeria since 2010.
Amnesty International had In December 2018 published a report ‘Willingly Unable: ICC Preliminary Examination And Nigeria’s Failure To Address Impunity For International Crimes’ which assessed the ICC-OTP’s preliminary examination in Nigeria, and the ability and willingness of the government to ensure accountability for crimes allegedly committed by Boko Haram and Nigerian security forces.