(Abuja) – Persistent attacks by Boko Haram, intensified conflict between nomadic herdsmen and farming communities, and violent banditry in many northern states dominated Nigeria’s human rights landscape during 2018, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2019. The government’s failure to ensure adequate protection for citizens and accountability for attacks is a clear indication of huge gaps in security.
At least 1,200 people were killed and nearly 200,000 displaced during 2018 in the nine-year-long northeast conflict between Boko Haram insurgents and government forces. Another 1,600 people were killed and 300,000 displaced as a result of intercommunal violence in the north central region. Scores of others were killed during heavy-handed crackdowns by security forces.
“Nigerian authorities’ response to the heightened violence has led to little concrete and meaningful change,” said Anietie Ewang, Nigeria researcher at Human Rights Watch.The failure of security forces to effectively respond to attacks and their use of lethal force against unarmed civilians are a troubling trend that needs to be addressed.”