The Nigerian government has reinstated a senior general, Major General Ahmadu Mohammed who was implicated in a mass murder by Amnesty International. The body sees this as a failure on the government’s part to keep to its commitment to end war crimes.
Major General Ahmadu Mohammed had been in command of operations in 7 Division when the military killed more than 640 detainees after an attack by militant Islamist group Boko Haram on their detention centre in Giwa barracks on 14th March 2014. He was then retired for unrelated reasons.
By June of 2015, Amnesty international had named Major General Ahmadu Mohammed, alongside eight other senior commanders in a call for investigations into war crimes that included the death of over 8000 of their detainees and the President of the country, President Muhammadu Buhari promised to investigate all the allegations against him and other senior officers.
The Major General Ahmadu Mohammed was retired after soldiers under his command carried out a mutiny against him, opening fire in the air after the death of their colleagues, giving their reason to be a deference to his style of leadership, which saw their welfare being ignored. This coupled with the continuing surge of Boko Haram activities in the area, the reason why he was initially deployed there, led to his eventual retirement. He was however reinstated quietly in January 2016, according to the military at his own request, an action which Amnesty International views incredulously.
Amnesty says, “Young men and boys, rounded up by the military, were either shot, starved, suffocated or tortured to death and no one has yet been held to account. It is unthinkable that Major General Muhammed could resume command of troops before an investigation has even begun,” . Amnesty’s 2015 report Stars on their shoulders. Blood on their hands. War crimes committed by the Nigerian military, details findings from years of research and evidence analysis which include interviews with over 400 victims, eyewitnesses, senior members of security forces, leaked military reports and correspondence. It divulges a range of war crimes as well as possible crimes against humanity which were committed by the Nigerian military in the course of their attempt to defeat Boko Haram.
Amnesty International calls for independent investigations into the crimes by these military officers, their backgrounds are shown in the body of the article and which also sees Amnesty International clearly enunciating its displeasure at the Presidents allowance of the reinstatement of Major General Ahmadu Mohammed. The Nigerian government has still as at the moment of this publication, remained silent on the report and its barely controlled outrage.