War Against Terrorism: Presidency Accuses Amnesty International Of ‘Bias, Inaccuracies’
The Presidency has accused Amnesty International of bias in its coverage of happenings in the country, especially as it relates to security matters.
In a statement on Monday, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, decried the role of the organisation in the war against terrorism in the North East.
According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari cherishes the standards on which Amnesty International similar institutions are founded.
He, however, alleged that the operations of the organisation in the country appeared to be aimed at frustrating the efforts of the military.
The statement from the Presidency was in reaction to a recent Amnesty International report published by Amnesty International entitled, “Harvest of Death: Three Years of Bloody Clashes Between Farmers and Herders.”
The organisation alleged that the government’s failure to investigate communal clashes and bring perpetrators to justice has fuelled “a bloody escalation” in the conflict between farmers and herders.
It said this resulted in at least 3,641 deaths in the past three years and the displacement of thousands more, and 57 per cent of the recorded deaths occurred in 2018.
The report claimed that security forces were often positioned close to the attacks, which lasted hours and sometimes days, yet they were slow to act.
It also accused the security agencies of having prior warning of an imminent raid in some cases but did nothing to stop or prevent the killings.
Amnesty International had, however, called on the government to ensure thorough, effective and impartial investigations and prosecution of any person, including members of security forces who perpetrated abuses or deliberately ignored attacks in some states.
It stated that the findings of the investigations must be made public and advised the government to urgently domesticate the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons into the national laws.
The organisation had also recommended that the full and effective implementation of the Convention must be ensured.
Read the full statement from the Presidency below;
The Federal Government is increasingly concerned about the role that Amnesty International is playing in the war against terror in Nigeria.
While President Muhammadu Buhari cherishes and encourages the noble ideals on which institutions like Amnesty International are founded, the organisation’s operations in Nigeria seem geared towards damaging the morale of the Nigerian military.
It often appears as if the Nigerian government is fighting two wars on terror: against Boko Haram and against Amnesty International.
The obvious bias and inaccuracies in Amnesty International’s recent country reports on Nigeria risk Amnesty’s reputation as an impartial international organisation.
President Buhari appeals to the leadership of Amnesty International to scrutinise its advocacy in Nigeria, especially as it relates to the war against terrorism.
Senior Special Assistant to the President,
(Media & Publicity)
December 17, 2018