Wed, Dec 19, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Nigeria upset by Amnesty

AFP, ABUJA

Nigeria is “concerned” about Amnesty International’s (AI) activities, a spokesman for Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said on Monday, just days after the government briefly banned UNICEF over claims it was training “spies” sympathetic to Boko Haram.

“The federal government is increasingly concerned about the role that Amnesty International is playing in the war against terror in Nigeria,” Garba Shehu said.

“The organization’s operations in Nigeria seem geared towards damaging the morale of the Nigerian military,” he said.

“It often appears as if the Nigerian government is fighting two wars on terror: against Boko Haram and against Amnesty International,” he said.

The statement comes on the same day that the Nigerian military threatened the “closure” of the global rights watchdog in a statement posted on Facebook.

Army public relations director Brigadier General Sani Usman said that Amnesty was “determined to destabilize” Nigeria through the “fabrication of fictitious allegations of alleged human rights abuses” and “clandestine sponsorship of dissident groups to protest.”

The military has in the past been critical of international organizations operating in the country and has hit out at organizations reporting that it committed rights violations and war crimes during its fight against Boko Haram.

The bloody Islamist uprising in northeastern Nigeria began in 2009 and has spread to Cameroon, Chad and Niger, killing at least 27,000 people and leaving millions dependent on aid for survival.

Buhari, who came to power in 2015 pledging to end the violence, is under increasing pressure to act as he gears up to seek re-election in a February ballot.

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