ABUJA SEPTEMBER 5, 2017(CISA) – The Islamist militant group, Boko Haram has killed 381 civilians in Nigeria and Cameroon since the beginning of April, rights group Amnesty International said today.
The rights group noted that the number of deaths since April 1 has more than doubled that for the preceding five months.
“Boko Haram is once again committing war crimes on a huge scale, exemplified by the depravity of forcing young girls to carry explosives with the sole intention of killing as many people as they possibly can,” Alioune Tine, Amnesty’s director for West and Central Africa said in a statement.
According to the rights group, the Nigerian military has repeatedly said that Boko Haram has been defeated despite carrying out a string of lethal suicide bombings and other high-profile attacks in towns and an oil exploration team in recent months.
In Nigeria, the deadliest attack was in July, when the militants abducted an oil exploration team with staff of the state oil firm and a university while they were travelling in a military convoy. Boko Haram killed 40 people and kidnapped three others, Amnesty said.
In Cameroon, the Islamist insurgency has killed at least 158 people in the same period. That is also linked to a rise in suicide bombings, the deadliest of which killed 16 people in Waza in July, the rights group added.
More than 2.5 million people have been displaced or become refugees in the Lake Chad region – which includes Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad – while 7.2 million people lack secure access to food because of the conflict with Boko Haram, according to the United Nations.
The insurgency has left more than 20,000 people dead since it began in 2009.