The United Nations Human Rights Office has warned that the Boko Haram sect could be classed as war criminals, as it condemns a bloody attack on a wedding convoy.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Cecile Pouilly, said members of Boko Haram and other groups and entities, if judged to have committed widespread or systematic attacks against a civilian population could be guilty of crimes against humanity.
Pouilly called the wedding convoy attack atrocious and condemned Boko Haram’s campaign of attacks against civilians, politicians, members of government institutions, foreigners and the security forces.
Besides condemning the sect’s bloody campaign, human rights groups have also slammed government troops for killing civilians and for other violations in the battle zone.
Pouilly added that the UN is following up closely with the Nigerian authorities’ allegations of abuses and human rights violations which may have been committed by security forces when conducting operations.
She noted that the Nigerian military is in the process of finalizing a report on people detained in connection with the insurgency, and urges the government to disclose its findings.
The Presidential Committee set up by President Goodluck Jonathan to dialogue with the Boko Haram dreaded sect has submitted its report to the President.
The committee which had spent 7 months travelling round Northern Nigeria trying to get the leaders of the sect to stop their widely condemned act admitted that the leadership of the insurgent group refused to have any dialogue with them despite all their efforts.
Chairman of the committee, Kabiru Turaki said, “Some of our difficulties in having a productive dialogue include the refusal of their leaders to submit to dialogue. However, many of the key members of the insurgents both in detention and at large have positively responded to contacts and have accepted the dialogue option as capable of full resolution of the conflict.”
It was in this vain that the committee recommended that the President should set up an advisory committee on continuous dialogue to continue from where they stopped.
Receiving the report, President Jonathan said that Government will look into all the recommendations, promising to set up a committee to follow up on the dialogue.
The president however told them that government will rather provide assistance to the victims of the attacks rather than compensations.
Following Boko Haram attacks and the attendant insecurity in the land, Nigeria’s President had in April 2013 set up the committee on dialogue and peaceful resolution of security challenges in the North.
Although the committee is winding up, President Jonathan has said that the Nigerian Government remains open to dialogue.