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Insecurity:Over 1,126 Killed, 380 Kidnapped From January To June 2020 In Nigeria

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No fewer than 1,126 villagers were killed by bandits while no less than 380 persons were kidnapped from January to June 2020, the latest report by Amnesty International Nigeria has revealed.

According to the report,Amnesty International blamed the inactions of the government, saying their failings left the rural communities at the mercy of gunmen.

The foremost human rights group also berated the Nigerian Government for failure to bring killers to justice, adding that the impunity poses more threat to not only the people but also threats to food security in rural areas.

Amnesty International, Nigeria
AI also revealed that at least 77 people have been killed since January 2020 in the ongoing communal clashes between the Jukun and Tiv ethnic groups in Taraba State, North-East Nigeria.

According to the report, the worst affected of the terrorism acts are villages in the South of Kaduna State where armed men killed at least 366 people in multiple attacks between January and July 2020.

Some victims of the recent attacks in Southern Kaduna told Amnesty International that security forces were absent during most of the attacks, arriving only hours after the attackers had left.

In rare cases when security forces arrived during attacks, they often came with inadequate intervention.

A witness to an attack in Unguwan Magaji in southern of Kaduna said, “During the attack, our leaders called and informed the soldiers that the attackers are in the village, so the soldiers did not waste time and they came but when they came and saw the type of ammunitions the attackers had they left. The following morning so many soldiers came with their Hilux pick-up trucks to see the dead bodies.”

Amnesty International has documented an alarming escalation in attacks and abductions in several states in North-West and North-Central Nigeria since January 2020.

“Terrifying attacks on rural communities in the North of Nigeria have been going on for years. The ongoing failure of security forces to take sufficient steps to protect villagers from these predictable attacks is utterly shameful,” said Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria.

“In addition to the security forces’ failure to heed warnings or respond in time to save lives, the fact that no perpetrators have been brought to justice leaves rural communities feeling completely exposed. The President claims he has repeatedly tasked security agencies to end the killing so that Nigerians can go to bed with their eyes closed, but clearly nothing has changed,” Ojigho added.

Amnesty International in the report also disclosed that the violence has forced many farmers and their families to flee their homes, stating that in Katsina State at least 33,130 people were now in displacement camps, and others have gone to stay with relatives in urban areas.

“Thousands of farmers could not cultivate their farms during the 2020 rain season because of fear of attacks or abduction.

“These attacks have caused massive displacement and food insecurity in the affected states. The majority of the people in these communities depend on farming for their livelihoods, but they are now too afraid to go to their fields,” said Ojigho.

“This is pushing the region to the brink of a major humanitarian crisis. The Nigerian authorities’ failure to stem the violence is costing people’s lives and livelihoods, and without immediate action many more lives may be lost,” she added.

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