The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission) continues to follow closely the deplorable deepening crisis of public safety and security and the deteriorating human rights situation being faced by the civilian population in the Nigerian north-eastern States of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, as well as in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, arising from spates of attacks and various outrages on the civilian population by the militant Islamist group terrorising the region – Jama’atu ahlus sunnah lid da’awati wal jihad, popularly known as Boko Haram, which have resulted in deaths, injuries, internal displacements and abductions, amongst others.
The African Commission remains highly concerned about these indiscriminate violence against and killings of the civilian population. In particular, it condemns the recent acts of abduction by Boko Haram of over 200 girls from the boarding house of a secondary school in the village of Chibok, Borno State, on 14 April 2014, and further abductions of girls from the villages of Warabe and Wala, in Borno State, on 6 May, 2014.
The African Commission is particularly deeply concerned by the impunity with which these acts are carried out by Boko Haram, demonstrated by the release of video footages in which the group claims responsibility for the various spates of attacks, and further threaten to commit other acts of violence.
The African Commission strongly condemns the instigators and perpetrators of these indefensible acts of violence, and demands that they immediately end their attacks on civilians.
The African Commission also calls on the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to assume full responsibility and take all necessary measures to: ensure the rescue and safe return of the abducted girls; guarantee the safety, security and protection of civilians in the affected communities and States, and in the entire country at large; and to duly investigate and bring perpetrators of these gross human rights violations to justice; in accordance with its regional and international human rights obligations.
Furthermore, the African Commission reiterates its appeals to the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in its earlier declarations on this matter, including in its letter of concern to the Government of Nigeria dated 3 November 2013, and its Resolutions ACHPR/RES. 267 (EXT.OS/XV) 2014, ACHPR/RES.214 (OS/LI) 2012 and ACHPR/RES. 211 (EXT.OS/XI) 2012.
The African Commission continues to monitor developments in the affected communities and States, and in the entire country.
It herereby reiterates its call on the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union, and the international community at large, to continue lending their full support to the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in its efforts to rescue and return the abducted girls to their families, and generally, to end these acts of terror and violence against the civilian population.
Done in Luanda, Angola, 10 May 2014