US News and World Report  quotes Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham on allegations that Nigeria’s military has carried out human rights abuses against its citizens: 

“Reports of human rights violations on the part of Nigerian military and security personnel fighting the group are not only widespread, well-founded and credible, but I have personally seen a great deal of evidence that supports the allegations of abuse,” says J. Peter Pham, director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center and a regular adviser to the White House and the U.N. He testified in 2011 before Congress on the impending threat of Boko Haram.

“The abuses are not isolated incidents, but a troubling pattern of misbehavior attributable to both a culture of impunity and an underlying failure of leadership – civilian and military,” Pham says. “Some of the abuses appear to be the result of poor military leadership, either in appalling tactics … or lack of training. Other violations appear to have been deliberate choices. In neither case has any senior official or officer ever been held accountable.”

The alleged military abuses also allow Boko Haram to put itself on equal footing in the minds of the Nigerian people the group hopes to rule, Pham says.

“It is precisely the brutality of government forces that permits the terrorists to set up that false equality,” he says.

Read the full article here.

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