U.S. warns Nigerian military against human rights abuses

The U.S. said the rights of civilians must be respected.

The United States Government has warned military authorities in Nigeria against abuse of civilian rights in the ongoing fight against Boko Haram in some north eastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.

The U.S. government’s warning was contained in a statement released on Sunday by John Kerry, the Secretary of State.

The statement said the U.S. “is deeply concerned about the fighting in northeastern Nigeria following President Jonathan’s declaration of a state of emergency in the Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa states”.

Security forces already engaged in ‘gross human rights abuses’

The statement also added that the United States is “deeply concerned by credible allegations that Nigerian security forces are committing gross human rights violations, which, in turn, only escalate the violence and fuel extremism.”

The United States added that though it “condemns Boko Haram’s campaign of terror in the strongest terms, it urges “Nigeria’s security forces to apply disciplined use of force in all operations, protect civilians in any security response, and respect human rights and the rule of law.”

The U.S. is one of Nigeria’s major allies in the fight against terrorism and has often raises concerns when it feels the Goodluck Jonathan administration is deviating from globally approved norms both in the war on terror and others like the anti-corruption battle and freedom of the press.

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