Insecurity: 2,600 Dead, 50 Communities Record 135 Attacks In Benue — Amnesty International

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World’s human rights organisation, Amnesty International said insecurity has left over 2,600 dead, and over 50 rural communities in Benue State have recorded a total of 135 attacks in the last year.

The organisation claimed as it released data on Benue State’s humanitarian crisis on Wednesday.

According to Amnesty, the data was recorded between January 2023- February 2024, adding that the deaths were mainly women and children.

It also said 18 out of the 23 Local Government Areas have been affected by insecurity, leading to displacement of people, some kidnapped and others raped.

It said, “Over 55 schools have been destroyed by armed attackers, just as over 23 local markets have been attacked and destroyed.”

Also, over 80 per cent of farming populations in Agatu, Guma and Gwer West have been displaced, with no access to their farmland or any means of livelihood.

This is as Nigeria currently suffers food shortages, with food inflation rising to as high as 40 per cent in the last year.

Inflation also rose to 33.95 per cent in May, according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), riding on the back of the removal of petrol subsidies by President Bola Tinubu on May 29, 2023.

The organisation called on the federal government, to halt and investigate the attacks, and ensure justice for victims as over 489, 245 Internal Displaced Persons were captured in camp from March 2023 to date.

Last December, the group demanded justice for victims of a Nigerian military strike on a civilian population.

The group described as unacceptable the reasons given by the army for the airstrike on the Tudun Biri community in northwest Kaduna State.

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“Victims and their families must be provided with access to justice and effective remedies,” said Isa Sanusi, the head of Amnesty International in Nigeria.

The military admitted in a statement that the Dec. 3 airstrike was a mistake.

Separately, the Defence Headquarters claimed soldiers targeted suspected bandits who were embedded in the community.

The incident led to the death of 85 victims, according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), but survivors said 120 were buried.

Also in February, its Nigerian arm warned that an attempt by the federal government to regulate the use of social media could hamper freedom of expression.

The warning came after the chief of staff to President Tinubu, Femi Gbajabiamila, said social media was “a menace”, and should be regulated.

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