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ICC Calls For Investigation Into Deadly Attack In Northeast Nigeria

UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES – 2016/05/26: Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), speaks to journalists after briefing the Security Council at its meeting on the situation in Libya today at the UN Headquarters in New York. (Photo by Luiz Rampelotto/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

 

The ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda called for an investigation into the deadly attack in northeast Nigeria which left dozens of civilians dead.

More than 100 people were killed, and several others were injured during an attack last week on farmworkers near the capital of Borno state, Maiduguri, according to the UN humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria.

Bensouda said in a statement that she was “gravely concerned” about the killings and abduction of several women by the armed militants.

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“My Office has examined similar crimes in north-eastern Nigeria allegedly committed by Boko Haram as well as alleged crimes committed by Nigerian security forces during counter-insurgency operations,” Bensouda said in a statement.

“This recent incident and all crimes falling within ICC jurisdiction must be properly investigated and the perpetrators held accountable by the competent Nigerian authorities through genuine national proceedings.”

Bensouda hinted that her office could act if local authorities failed to take up the matter as she noted that Nigeria was a State party to the Rome Statute.

“That failing, my Office is required by the Statute to act,” she added.

The killings caused public outrage with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari condemning them and describing them as “insane”.

Buhari said the government had given all the needed support to the armed forces “to take all necessary steps to protect the country’s population and its territory.”

Nigeria has been battling an insurgency by Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) in the north and northeast for over a decade.

In 2016, the group split into two groups — the main faction led by Abubakar Shekau and the IS-affiliated Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP). Both groups have been blamed for increasing attacks on civilians they accuse of spying for the army and pro-government militia.

The conflict has killed at least 36,000 people and left millions of others displaced in the northeast and the general Lake Chad Basin.

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Written by PH

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