Nigeria: Boko Haram’s killing of at least 45 civilians in Rann amounts to war crime

The remains of burnt shelters in Muna El-Badawy Camp, May 2020

Responding to the horrific killing of at least 45 civilians by Boko Haram in Rann, Borno state, Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, said: 

Yet another horrific killing of civilians by Boko Haram has once again demonstrated its brazen disregard for life. These killings specifically targeting civilians amount to war crimes and perpetrators must be swiftly brought to justice. Under international humanitarian law, civilians must be protected from attacks.

A relative of one of the victims told Amnesty International that the attack took place on Sunday 22 May 2022, in Rann, Kala-Balge LGA of Borno state when Boko Haram invaded farms. This is the latest in a string of atrocities committed by Boko Haram in Borno state and other parts of northern Nigeria. The attack demonstrates the armed group’s disregard for the rules of international humanitarian law; as well as the danger for civilians living in conflict zones in northern Nigeria.  

“Boko Haram’s consistent targeting of civilians is unacceptable and must end. On 28 November 2020, Boko Haram killed at least 43 farmworkers near Koshebe village, in Borno State, mostly with machetes or knives, in an attack that left dozens of other civilians missing. Earlier in January 2019, Amnesty International confirmed that Boko Haram killed at least 60 people in Rann, in one of its deadliest attacks. 

“Amnesty International, therefore, calls on Boko Haram to end its unlawful killing of civilians and to respect international humanitarian law. Nigerian authorities must act swiftly and ensure that all civilians in conflict zones across northern Nigeria are protected.” 

BACKGROUND 

Amnesty International has been documenting war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Boko Haram since 2009. In April 2015, Amnesty International released a report titled ‘Our job is to shoot, slaughter and kill’: Boko haram’s reign of terror in northeast Nigeria. The report documented acts amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Boko Haram.