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20.03.2018 21:59 News >> Nigerian Army Claimed To İgnore Warnings Of Abduction

Nigerian Army Claimed To İgnore Warnings Of Abduction

Nigerian military rejects report by Amnesty International, blasting its claims as 'irresponsible' and 'unfair'

Amnesty International on Tuesday claimed that the Nigerian military ignored early warnings that Boko Haram militants were headed to a northeastern town where 110 schoolgirls were recently abducted.

At least 110 girls went missing after a Feb. 19 raid on their school by gunmen believed to be militants -- barely four years after some 276 schoolgirls were abducted in Chibok in the neighboring Borno state. At least 113 of the victims of the Chibok abduction remain with their captors.

Quoting local sources and unnamed security officials, the rights group alleged that the army was aware of the presence of Boko Haram insurgents in Dapchi but failed to mobilize troops to avert what President Muhammadu Buhari later called "a national disaster."

"Amnesty International gathered testimony from multiple credible sources showing that the Nigerian army and police received multiple calls up to four hours before the raid on Dapchi, but did not take effective measures to stop the abduction or rescue the girls after they were taken by Boko Haram fighters," Amnesty said in a report.

The report "ed Osai Ojigho, Nigerian chief of Amnesty International, calling for an investigation into the "inexcusable security lapses" that let the abduction occur and urging Abuja to ensure the girls' prompt release.

"The authorities appear to have learned nothing from the abduction of 276 schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno state in 2014 and failed to ensure protection for civilians in northeast Nigeria, specifically girls' schools," the report "ed Ojigho as saying.

She said evidence available to the rights group suggested that there were insufficient troops deployed in the area, and that an absence of patrols and the failure to respond to warnings and engage with Boko Haram contributed to the tragedy.

'Amnesty International doesn't want to solve problems'

The Nigerian defense headquarters, for its part, dismissed the claims as both "irresponsible and unfair."

John Agim, spokesman for the military, said in a statement that the rights body is notorious for whipping up sentiments just as troops are about to rout Boko Haram or any group threatening Nigeria's existence.

Agim said the latest claims come amid joint resolve by Abuja and the U.S. to strengthen their cooperation in counter-insurgency operations.

He added that Amnesty International has failed to answer a number of questions, including which security force units allegedly had advance warning of the attack and why the group failed to give its findings to a group probing the abduction.

"The answer is simple: AI is not ready to contribute towards finding a solution to our problems, if anything, they are ready to complicate the problems," said Agim.

Amnesty "is an organization established to embark on orchestrated campaign of calumny against the Nigerian military and undermine its laudable achievements against Boko Haram," making its allegations "unacceptable," he added. -



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