Human rights group Amnesty International on Wednesday (August 4) accused Nigerian security forces of killing at least 115 people between March and June 2021 in suppressing a separatist movement in the south.
Violence erupted in the southeastern states, killing at least 127 police officers or members of the security services, police said, while local media reported that about 20 police stations and election offices had been attacked. The Piafra Tribal Freedom Movement (IPOB), which supports the secession of southeastern Nigeria, has been widely accused of instigating the violence by Igbo and its paramilitary arm, the ESN (Eastern Security Network). IPOB denied.
According to Amnesty International, security forces, including the military, police and the State Services (DSS) intelligence agency, suppressed the attacks, killing dozens of militants and civilians.
“Evidence collected by Amnesty International paints a grim picture of Nigerian security forces’ relentless use of Emo, Anambra and Abiya”Osai Ojiko, director of the NGO Nigeria, said.
When asked, Nigerian police did not immediately respond to the allegations. “I do not see the report [d’Amnesty]. So I can’t answer. “, Frank Emba, a spokesman for the National Police, told Agencies France-Presse (AFP).
Relatives of the victims told the NGO that they were not part of the militant group that attacked security forces. “Many victims were taken to public hospitals in the states of Emo and Abia.”, She clarified.
Amnesty has also collected information on cases of arbitrary arrests, mistreatment and torture in the region.
In May, the Emo state government announced the arrest of at least 400 people believed to be linked to the violence. “Amnesty International’s investigation found that most of them were abducted from their homes or on the street and had no connection with ESN.”According to the NGO.
Several leaders of the movement were arrested
Local and international human rights groups have repeatedly accused Nigerian security forces of human rights abuses in the past, but they continue to deny the allegations.
Nigeria has recently intensified its crackdown on separatists. Last month, IPOP chairman and founder Namdi Khan was arrested in Kenya after four years and was brought to Nigeria in late June, according to his lawyers, and charged. “Terrorism” And “The crime of treason”.
Another separatist leader, Sunday Adamo, also known as Sunday Igbo, was arrested in July in neighboring Benin while trying to catch a flight to Germany. He has not been handed over and is currently being held in Benin. He also tells the people of Yoruba of the independence of southwestern Nigeria following the violence inflicted on Fulani shepherds in his region.
The IPOP dreams of seeing the rebirth of the defunct Piafra Republic, whose declaration of independence led to a thirty-month civil war between 1967 and 1970. The conflict has killed more than a million people, mainly in Igbo, especially famine and disease.