Nigeria: Spate of killings by herdsmen and ethnic militias must be investigated

Responding to a spate of killings in Nigeria over the past week by herdsmen and ethnic militias which have left dozens dead across the states of Benue, Kaduna, Rivers and Taraba, Director of Amnesty Nigeria, Osai Ojigho said:

“Though these clashes have been going on for years, we have seen a disturbing escalation in the bloodshed since the start of 2018. The government must make better use of its resources to bring the perpetrators of these attacks to justice.

“The Nigerian authorities must do more to end this epidemic of gruesome killings of dozens of people across the country.

“No-one has ever been held to account for the many murders committed during these clashes. The pattern of attacks and reprisals is reaching a boiling point because of the failure of the authorities to carry out investigations and end the rampant impunity for previous crimes.

“It is not enough for the government to make pronouncements or issue condemnations, it is vital that those responsible are punished. This is the only way to start to tame this wave of violence that is endangering lives across the country.

“That herdsmen, ethnic militias and cult groups kill Nigerians with ease should be a wake-up call for the Nigerian government to ensure accountability for every violation of human rights.”

More than 57 people were killed in Benue State on 1 January, while in Rivers State at least 16 people were killed on the same day.

Also on 1 January, a traditional ruler and his pregnant wife were killed in Kaduna State. On 5 January, at least six people were killed in Taraba State.

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