Friday, 26 April 2013

News Release: UN Must Investigate Baga Genocide

The Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate (CPPM) is shocked, devastated, grieved and condemns in very strong terms the wanton, barbaric, irresponsible, inhuman and unacceptable destruction of lives and properties that resulted from the military invasion of Baga town in Borno State. We regard these killings as an affront on the human community which must not be allowed to stand.

We are at a loss and find it highly irresponsible and barbaric the lying attempt of the Nigerian military authorities to explain how they and their foreign collaborators killed over 185 innocent human lives and uncountable casualties, destroyed about 2000 houses, 62 vehicles and 486 motorcycles in their crude methods of confronting terrorists in this modern age of high tech intelligence.

We have observed over a long time now since the emergence of our nascent democracy in 1999 how the Nigerian state has been militarized and thereby resulting in the unlawful and illegal violations of the citizens right to life and liberty by the security agencies via their crude method of policing. The insecurity level in the country has been further worsened by the emergence of the Boko Haram group in the North through which the Nigerian state via the military have flagrantly violated the fundamental human rights of Nigerians by embarking on genocide through militarization of the entire area. It has gotten so bad that all the military needs to justify its mass killings is to label its victims as Boko Haram members even if it’s just an altercation between two warring parties.

It is a well known and indisputable fact that peace cannot be engendered and maintained through the use of force but can only be achieved through dialogue, consultation and compromise. The militarization of our nascent democracy in the pursuit of peace by the present administration portends grave danger if there is no rethink and a meaningful process of dialogue in tandem with democratic norms put in place. A very practical recent experience is the Niger Delta struggle.

The Nigerian state via its military lack of respect for international law which emphasizes the sanctity of human lives must be condemned by all lovers of peace as members of one civilized human community. This much was emphasized only recently by the judicial verdict against the Nigerian state with regards to the genocide visited on Odi community in Bayelsa state by the Obasanjo administration from among numerous ones.

The Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate (CPPM)is hereby using this medium to call on the United Nations (UN) not to abdicate its statutory responsibility to the people of Nigeria by instituting an international inquiry into this mass killings since the troops involved are made up of three (3) countries who are all members of the world body with a view to prevent a cover up by the Nigerian state which is going through her worst period of monumental corruption and promotion of culture of impunity.

We are hereby calling on the world body to ensure that the people of Baga in particular and Nigerians in general get justice by making sure that the perpetrators of this genocide are brought to book for crimes against humanity at the world court.

We are equally calling on the United Nations (UN) to demand the immediate withdrawal of the Multi National Joint task force from the zone as well as the suspension from military activities of its commander, General Austin Edokpaye pending the findings of its investigative body.

We are as well calling on the United Nations (UN) to declare Baga town a humanitarian disaster zone and mobilize men and resources to offer relief and trauma counseling to the displaced, traumatized, injured and ruined inhabitants of the town.

We are also calling on the United Nations (UN) to demand that the Nigerian government give befitting burial to victims of this genocide.

Nelson Ekujumi
Executive Chairman,
 Committee For The Protection Of Peoples Mandate (CPPM)

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