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‘Do More To Protect Civilians’: US Urges Nigerian Govt, Condemns Brazen Killings

The United States government has condemned the killings of civilians in Nigeria in the past weeks, which it describes as brazen and senseless.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, called attention to attacks of communities in Borno and Katsina states by suspected members of the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP), a breakaway of Boko Haram.

“We condemn the recent  senseless and  brazen killings of civilians  in northern Nigeria,” said Pompeo.

“In recent weeks, suspected  ISIS West Africa  militants launched multiple attacks in  Borno  State, killing more than 120 civilians, including women, children, and the elderly. On June 9, unidentified armed  bandits  attacked a village in Katsina State, killing dozens.

“These horrific crimes follow the  shooting  of a  pastor and his pregnant wife on June 1 and the killing of an imam, local village head, and several civilians  on June  5  in  the course of intercommunal violence in  Taraba State.”

The US urged the Nigerian government to increase its efforts towards ending the violent trend, bringing the criminals to book, and securing human lives.

“Tens of thousands of civilians have  lost their lives  in Nigeria in recent years to  violent  attacks  by  terrorist groups  or  criminal gangs, in inter-communal violence, or due to their religious beliefs,” the US Secretary of State said.

“The United States calls on the Government of Nigeria to do more to strengthen ongoing efforts to address this violence, hold those responsible accountable,  and protect  civilians,” he added.

HumAngle pointed out on Wednesday that 261 Nigerians lost their lives to insecurity, especially in the northern region, between Monday, June 8, 2020, and Saturday, June 13, 2020, a 32 per cent increase against the death toll of the previous week.

President Muhammadu Buhari, last Friday, while delivering the annual Democracy Day speech said his government is prioritising the fight against insurgency and banditry.

“All the Local Governments that were taken over by the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa have long been recovered and are now occupied by indigenes of these areas who were hitherto forced to seek a living in areas far from their ancestral homes,” he said despite facts to the contrary.

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'Kunle Adebajo

Head of Investigations at HumAngle. ‘Kunle covers conflict alongside its many intricacies and fallouts. He also writes about disinformation, the environment, and human rights. He's won a couple of journalism awards, including the 2021 Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Journalism, the 2022 African Fact-checking Award, and the 2023 Michael Elliott Award for Excellence in African Storytelling.

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