Armed ViolenceNews

Members Of Congress Request Details Of US Military Role In Bombing Of Nigerian Refugee Camp

The 2017 Nigerian Air Force bombing of the camp for displaced persons in Rann led to the death of over 100 civilians, with dozens more injured.

A group of United States (U.S) congress members are requesting details on the U.S military involvement in a Nigerian Air Force airstrike on a displaced camp in the northeastern town of Rann in 2017, which led to the death of over 100 civilians. 

Recent reporting suggests the U.S military may have assisted in the 2017 Nigerian military bombing of an internally displaced persons’ camp in Rann, which killed over 160 civilians, “many of whom were children,” said a letter dated September 8th and addressed to U.S Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin.

Details of a declassified document obtained under the Freedom of information revealing the airstrike was referred to the strike as an instance of “U.S.-Nigerian operations” in an investigation by the U.S Africa Command (AFRICOM), the U.S based news website The Intercept reported in August. 

“Given the previously unreported nature of the U.S. military’s involvement in this strike and subsequent investigation, and your recent commitments to transparently responding to civilian harm, we request that the Department make available the investigation and all accompanying documentation to Members of the House Armed Services Committee,” said the letter signed by five congress members.

The group also asked for the provision of information and documents no later than 90 days.  It also requested answers to nine questions, including on the nature of U.S. military involvement in the kinetic air strike by the Nigerian military in the vicinity of Rann and if they provided intelligence or other support for this strike.

The Nigerian Defence Headquarters had blamed a  “lack of appropriate marking’’ for the air raid that also injured dozens of people in the remote town of Rann, near the border with Cameroon.  Adding that the location was not “reflected in the operational map as a humanitarian base.” 

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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