In the Nigerian army’s dutiful fight against Boko Haram, are some other misdeeds which are a cause for concern.
They have been accused of carrying out arbitrary detentions of Boko Haram suspects and former captives.
Arbitrary detentions occur as a result of the army’s fears that freed captives are predisposed to conducting terror attacks.
The Nigerian army was deployed to fight against the extremist, Boko Haram who have terrorized the region for 9 years since its inception. However, their patriotic act has not been without discrepancies.
The people detained by the army also include toddlers and infants who are barely a year old. Amnesty International has reported almost 150 people dying at the detention center in Giwa barracks alone.
This treatment of former Boko Haram captives is not limited to the Nigerian army alone. Cameroon which has been affected by the militants through cross-border attacks has also been a culprit of this violation.
The Cameroon army is said to house scores of alleged supporters of Boko Haram, usually with no supporting evidence against them. The civilians are usually detained in harsh conditions that usually lead to their death.
Although these practices are inhuman, the army officials have reason to, considering Boko Harams tactics of turning innocent civilians into terrorists. The group has in time past used, children, and even captives to stage terror in the north-eastern region.
The New York Times reports Nigerian army Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman saying that the suspects have to be screened for lengthy periods of time before finally being set free.
“Questioning suspects is a lengthy process, it is better to take time to screen them out than to allow a single terrorist to go free and carry out a suicide bombing.”
“There is nobody, no army in the world that is respecting the rule of law the way we are doing,” he said.
Regardless, human rights activists and lawyers have accused the Nigerian army of having no rights whatsoever to subjecting civilians to arbitrary detentions.