6 September 2017
By Justice Nwafor
The increase in Boko Haram attacks in recent times has led to the death of about 400 people in Nigeria and Cameroon between April and August 2017. The figure is twice the figure of the previous five months.
This is according to a report released by Amnesty International, AI, on Tuesday, Al-Jazeera reports.
The rights group revealed that the increasing use of suicide bombers – mostly young women and girls forced to carry and detonate explosives in crowded areas – has killed at least 381 civilians in the two countries.
According to the group’s director for West and Central Africa, Alioune Tine, “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.
“This wave of shocking Boko Haram violence, propelled by a sharp rise in suicide bombings, highlights the urgent need for protection and assistance for millions of civilians… Governments in Nigeria, Cameroon and beyond must take swift action to protect them from this campaign of terror,” the director said.
AI also revealed that at least 223 civilians died in Nigeria since April. This means that the figure could be higher.
“Between May and August, seven times more civilians were killed than in the preceding four months, while 100 civilians were killed in August alone,” it said.
In Cameroon, AI said since April at least 158 civilians died in Boko Haram attacks, a figure four times higher than the preceding five months.
“The recent spike in casualties has been driven by increased suicide attacks, with 30 – more than one per week – carried out since the beginning of April,” the group said.