267: Resolution on the human rights situation in the Federal Republic of Nigeria

    The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, meeting at its 15th Extra- Ordinary Session, held in Banjul, The Gambia, from 07 to 14 March 2014;

    Recalling its mandate to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights on the African Continent pursuant to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter);

    Considering that the Federal Republic of Nigeria is a Party to the African Charter and has committed itself to securing human and peoples’ rights within its territory;

    Further considering Article 1 of the African Charter which calls on Member States to adopt legislative or other measures to give effect to the rights and freedoms enshrined therein;

    Further considering Article 4 of the African Charter by virtue of which human beings are inviolable, with every human being entitled to respect for their life and the integrity of their person;

    Recalling its previous resolutions on the human rights situation in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in particular Resolutions ACHPR/RES.214 (OS/LI) 2012 and & ACHPR/RES. 211 (EXT.OS/XI) 2012, which condemned acts of violence committed by armed groups against citizens in Nigeria.

    Considering the consistent reports inter alia from UN Experts,  Non-Governmental Organisations and the news media, of the deepening crisis of public safety and security being faced by the civilian population in the Nigerian north-eastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, 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 further resulted in deaths, injuries and internal displacements amongst others;

    Further concerned that such reports also document allegations of gross human rights abuse committed against the civilian population by personnel of the Nigerian military and other state agents, in their operations in combating the Boko Haram militants in the region;

    Deeply concerned by the continued escalation in this extreme indiscriminate violence and killings of civilians which have continued unabated, resulting in more than 10,000 civilians killed and over 90,000 people displaced since the emergence of the Boko Haram group in 2002;  

    The Commission:

    Strongly condemns the  killings of the civilian population, and in particular, the recent acts of violence committed on 2 February 2014, in which about fifty-nine (59) pupils in the boarding school at the Federal Government College of Buni Yadi, in Yobe State, were shot or burnt alive;

    Also condemns the instigators and perpetrators of these indefensible acts of violence, and demands that they immediately end their attacks on civilians;

    Calls on the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to take effective measures to guarantee the safety, security and protection of persons and their properties in the affected communities and States, and in the entire country at large, and urges it to increase efforts in securing the lives and integrity of the persons of the civilian population in accordance with its regional and international human rights obligations.

    Further calls on the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to ensure that military operations undertaken by its personnel and other agents in response to Boko Haram attacks comply with regional and international human rights standards;

    Calls upon the relevant authorities of the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to thoroughly investigate, and bring perpetrators of these gross human rights violations and killings to justice;

    Also calls on the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to guarantee the secure access of humanitarian actors and international human rights agencies to the affected communities and states; and

    Further calls on the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union, and the international community at large, to lend their full support to the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in its efforts to end these acts of violence, and to closely monitor the human rights situation in the country.

     

    Done in Banjul, The Gambia, 14 March 2014

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