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Boko haram: Older people suffer most – AI

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Boko haram: Older people suffer most – AI

Boko Haram, Pandemonium as Boko Haram attacks Chibok community
Boko Haram fighters

Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief

Older people are the worst hit from the 11 –year old Boko haram terrorism in Nigeria, Amnesty International has said.

The body said in a new report that many aged people starved or were slaughtered in their homes or left to languish and die in squalid by Boko haram. 

It also claimed that they often suffer unlawful military detention.

The report said that both Boko Haram and the Nigerian military have committed atrocities against older women and men, with nobody held to account. It also focuses on how displaced older people are consistently overlooked by the humanitarian response.

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“When Boko Haram has invaded towns and villages, older men and women have often been among the last to flee, leaving them particularly exposed to the armed group’s brutality and repression – amounting to war crimes and likely crimes against humanity. This has included torture, being forced to witness killings and abductions of their children, as well as looting resulting in extreme food insecurity,” said Joanne Mariner, Director of Crisis Response at Amnesty International.

The report said that when Boko Haram has invaded towns and villages, older men and women have often been among the last to flee, leaving them particularly exposed to the armed group’s brutality and repression – amounting to war crimes and likely crimes against humanity. This has included torture, being forced to witness killings and abductions of their children, as well as looting resulting in extreme food insecurity. 

It added, “Nigeria’s military, in turn, has repeatedly shot older people to death in their own homes during raids on villages in Boko Haram-controlled areas. Thousands of older people have been denied dignity in hellish conditions in military detention, with many hundreds of them dying in squalor. These, too, amount to war crimes and potentially crimes against humanity.”

Living under Boko Haram’s repression

According to the AI, many villages in areas under Boko Haram control are disproportionately populated by older people who are unable to flee or who choose to stay and continue working their land. 

In such villages, the international organization said, older people face threats from all sides. Boko Haram loots their property and often restricts older women’s movement, making it harder for families to earn money and feed themselves. Boko Haram also abducts or kills their children and grandchildren, and sometimes tortures or kills the older people themselves.

“Boko Haram…asked why I was still around when others had run away… I told them it was my house and I was not scared of dying. Some of them said instead of killing me, they’d put me in permanent pain. They brought out their knife and stabbed me in my foot, leaving a big gash,” an 80-year-old woman from a village in Michika local government area (LGA), Adamawa State, was quoted as saying. 

AI added that the recent Boko Haram massacre of a large number of rice farmers in Borno State exemplified years of repression and abuse of older people by the terrorists.

The post Boko haram: Older people suffer most – AI appeared first on Vanguard News.

Source: Vanguard Newspaper

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