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Sat Aug 27 06:50:38 SAST 2016

Reinstated general guilty of war crimes‚ says Amnesty

Tmg Digital | 01 February, 2016 19:12
“Major General Mohammed must be investigated for participating in‚ sanctioning or failing to prevent the deaths of hundreds of people‚” said Salil Shetty‚ Secretary General of Amnesty International. File photo
Image by: TOMAS BRAVO / REUTERS

Amnesty International (AI) has slammed the Nigerian military for reinstating a general who it says was responsible for a series of war crimes.

The human rights organisation said on Monday that in June last year it called for Major General Ahmadu Mohammed and eight other senior commanders to be investigated for war crimes - including the deaths of more than 8‚000 of detainees.

Mohammed was in command of operations when the military executed more than 640 detainees following a Boko Haram attack on the detention centre in Giwa barracks on 14 March 2014‚ AI said. He was retired in 2014 “for unrelated reasons”‚ but reinstated this month.

“The reinstatement of a senior Nigerian military general implicated in the mass murder of hundreds of detainees underlines the monumental failure of the government to stamp out impunity for war crimes at the highest level‚ said Amnesty International‚” said Amnesty.

“An in depth report exposed a range of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity committed by the military in the course of operations against Boko Haram. It found that‚ since March 2011‚ more than 7‚000 were starved‚ suffocated‚ and tortured to death in military detention camps. A further 1‚200 were rounded up and unlawfully killed.

“Major General Mohammed must be investigated for participating in‚ sanctioning or failing to prevent the deaths of hundreds of people‚” said Salil Shetty‚ Secretary General of Amnesty International.

“Young men and boys‚ rounded up by the military‚ were either shot‚ starved‚ suffocated or tortured to death and no one has yet been held to account. It is unthinkable that Major General Mohammed could resume command of troops before an investigation has even begun.”

The report was based on years of research and analysis of evidence - including leaked military reports and correspondence‚ as well as interviews with more than 400 victims‚ eyewitnesses and senior members of the Nigerian security forces‚ Amnesty said.

It exposed a range of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity committed by the military in the course of operations against Boko Haram.

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