Amnesty International condemns the reinstatement of Nigerian General accused of possible war crimes

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Human Rights group, Amnesty International (AI), has condemned the reinstatement of a former commander of the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Ahmadu Mohammed, who the organization accused of possible war crimes following the alleged execution of suspected Boko Haram detainees in Giwa Barracks, Maiduguri, Borno State.

Amnesty implicated Mr. Mohammed, a Major General, alongside other serving and retired military chiefs for possible war crimes following the alleged torture and extra-judicial killings of more than 8,000 suspected Boko Haram detainees.

Mr. Mohammed was specifically accused of overseeing the killing of 640 detainees at Giwa Barracks, Maiduguri, Borno State on March 14, 2014 after the Barracks’s detention centre was attacked by Boko Haram.

Mr Mohammed was retired in 2014 after a mutiny by soldiers who accused him of knowingly leading them into a Boko Haram ambush around Chibok on May 12, 2014.

More than 70 soldiers were killed in the ambush. Mr Mohammed, whose vehicle was shot at by the angry soldiers during the mutiny, has been quietly reinstated after he allegedly wrote several letters to the army authorities asking to be recalled.

In a statement Monday, Amnesty International described the reinstatement of Mr Mohammed as a “monumental failure of the government to stamp out impunity for wars crimes at the highest level.”

“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 Muhammed could resume command of troops before an investigation has even begun,” Mr. Shetty added.

According to the statement, the report that implicated Mr Mohammed, “Stars on their shoulders, blood on their hands: War crimes committed by the Nigerian military,” was based on years of research and analysis of evidence, which included leaked military reports and correspondence as well as interview of some 400 victims, witnesses and top military officers. 

AI stated that the 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.”

The organisation also stated that the recall of Mr Mohammed flew in the face of assurances by President Muhammadu Buhari that allegations of human rights abuses against the military would be investigated and those found culpable brought to book.
 
“Hours after the publication of the report on 3 June, President Buhari responded personally on Twitter to say: “I assure you that your report will be looked into…This administration will leave no stone unturned to promote the rule of law, and deal with all cases of human rights abuses.

“Likewise the President announced on 12 June 2015 that investigating criminal responsibility for the violations documented in Amnesty International’s report would be the first task of the Attorney General. This investigation is yet to begin.”

Mr Shetty called on Mr Buhari to honour this pledge and make sure those implicated were investigated and made to account for their actions.
 
“Seven months after the publication of these horrific discoveries and the President’s pledge that they will be looked into, we continue to call for urgent independent investigations to begin.

“Those responsible for the crimes detailed in Amnesty International’s report must be held to account, no matter their rank or position. Only then can there be justice for the dead and their relatives,” said Mr. Shetty.


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  • Darlington

    Amnesty International, why the dead silence on the massacre of 705 Shiites members in Zaria by Gen. Buratai led Army? What of killing of unarmed pro Biafra protesters in S/South and S/East demanding the release of Nnamdi Kanu? Amnesty International is a hypocritical organization doing a secret job for CIA.

    • bikky

      Sir,these are different issues, you can’t join Bokoharam issue with shitte, though it is not acceptable and trust amnesty international they will reveal what you don’t know about those scenarios you mentioned, let support AI to help Nigeria masses say what we don’t have capacity to say. Thank you.

  • Musa M. Dantsoho

    Is it Amnesty International or Africa Check reported the indictment of Maj.General Ahmadu Muhammadu? The story here claims webpage not available while checks on Africa Check was a different thing altogether.

  • don684

    Perhaps the general in question went through a northern Nigerian town where the population was murdered ,huts burned down ,livestock stolen . Then looked at the women raped then murdered ,children murdered . The troops he commanded saw all this also . Then they captured a group of BH responsible and had no mercy on them . BH is a scrooge on northern Nigeria . They have killed over 20,000 Nigerians . Have been brutal in burning poor peoples homes ,stealing their livestock and slave trafficking women . If they suffered and were killed ,well that’s war .They had no mercy on their victims.

  • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

    The reinstatement is true to character,we have an Army with a history of a genocidal war and several massacres including the recent extra-judicial massacre of hundreds of unarmed Shiite Muslims in Zaria.The tradition of cover-ups and white-wash enquiries which justify massacres through the “UNKNOWN SOLDIER PHENOMENON” is very much still in play.

    The ICC Hague and the international community will be the only hope for justice for victims of the serially orchestrated acts of human rights violations as far as Nigeria is concerned.

    • bikky

      Yes.

  • Say the truth

    Leave Nigerian army alone please. Amnesty international should not be taken seriously. They are colonialists and selective in its approach. When the US was torturing captured rebel fighters in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan Amnesty international kept quiet. They want to blackmail Nigeria government in order to demoralize the soldiers fighting in difficult circumstances to protect Nigeria against murderous boko haram members. It will not work. Our soldiers should remain focused and strong against our common enemy the Boko haram terrorists.

    • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

      Yes but the US military do not execute US citizens extra-judicially and bury the bodies in secret unmarked graves on a serial basis nor do they open fire on unarmed US protesters on a regular basis.

  • Mamtech

    “possible war crimes” Not certain but fuming…

  • Ochon

    It was alleged this man deceived Nigerians troop in to hands of bh. This must be one of the soldiers that sabotaged the last govt efforts. No wonder he is being reinstated. He was busy sending ss, se and s western soldiers to bh ambush. But if this man’s hand is soiled in those demised soldiers blood, this his reinstatement would be his comeuppance.

    • fishhook

      Must you always be tribal and sectional in your world view?

  • growthengine

    You aint seen nothing yet. His reinstatement is reward for a job well done.

  • bikky

    NA that could not reinstate Major Kuti who was attacked in his camp with his men was able to reinstated major Mohammed a secret Bokoharam member in the military is nothing but anti humane. Several soldiers were deceived by this Mohammed into the hands of Bokoharam in the night after a strong advised against his action but this block head senior rank officer and NA were not even seen this as a great misded from calibre of this officer. I know that this man will be secretly reinstated and this is the reason I raised his issue sometimes ago on this platform while requesting for reinstatement of Major Kuti who even had a better case compare to Mohammed. Moreso, if those guys that were killed by Mohammed were not Bokoharam members has alleged by Mohammed and NA that will be bad because the video I watched on that killing is a pure massacre believing those guys were Bokoharam that do not deserved mercy. There must be a powerful investigation to confirm veracity of this killing,and AI should not stop until truth of the matter is known.

  • David Adeniran

    If there was anyone that should be restored or recalled, it is Brigadier Enitan Ransome-Kuti and not the wicked General who deceived and lured his troop into the enemies’ den! This is clearly a travesty of justice! President Buhari, over to you!!!