Borno State, Nigeria – At least 43 farmers were killed and several others were left severely injured on Saturday in rice fields by Boko Haram militants in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Borno. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the gruesome attack on farmers by the jihadists near Maiduguri city.
Buhari said in the first statement since the incident took place earlier on Saturday:
“I condemn the killing of our hardworking farmers by terrorists in Borno State. The entire country is hurt by these senseless killings. My thoughts are with their families in this time of grief. May their souls rest in peace.”
The insurgents were also said to have destroyed the rice plantation after slaughtering all the farmers in yet another major attack in the state.
According to a security official, the farmers had gone to the farm in Kwashabe village in Zabarmari District of Jere Local Government Area to harvest their rice before they met their untimely death.
A security official, who preferred anonymity, stated that the insurgents attacked the farmers on the farm at about 4 p.m., subdued them, and slaughtered them all.
The security official said:
“It is unfortunate that Boko Haram has killed 42 farmers in Kwashabe village, in Zabarmari part of Jere Local Government. It subdued farmers, who were harvesting rice, slaughtered all of them and razed their farm, destroying their rice.”
Even though details were still sketchy, the attack triggered anger in several communities fearful of the worsening insecurity in the state and the country generally. Nigerians vented their anger on social media condemning the government for its apparent failure to secure the lives of Nigerians.
Boko Haram: UN withdraws claim 110 farmers died in Borno attack https://t.co/D2TJjP1tjG
— Nigeria Newsdesk (@NigeriaNewsdesk) November 30, 2020
A member of the House of Representatives, Ahmed Satomi, who represents the Jere Federal constituency of Borno, said at least 44 burials were taking place Sunday:
“The Farmers and fishermen were killed in cold blood. Over 60 farmers were affected, but we only have so far received 44 corpses from the farms and we are preparing for their burials today, Sunday by God’s grace.”
Boko Haram and a breakaway faction, the Islamic State West Africa Province, are both active in the region. Boko Haram’s more than decade-long insurgency has left thousands dead and displaced tens of thousands.
Officials say Boko Haram members often force villagers to pay illegal taxes by taking their livestock or crops. But some villagers have begun to resist the extortion.
Satomi said the farmers in Garin Kwashebe were attacked because they had disarmed and arrested a Boko Haram gunman on Friday, who had been tormenting them. He explained:
“A lone gunman, who was a member of Boko Haram came to harass the farmers by ordering them to give him money and also cook for him. While he was waiting for the food to be cooked, the farmers seized the moment he stepped into the toilet to snatch his rifle and tied him up.
“They later handed him over to the security. But sadly, the security forces did not protect the courageous farmers. In reprisal for daring them, the Boko Haram mobilized and came to attack them on their farms.”
— American Military News (@AmerMilNews) November 30, 2020
There are still conflicting numbers of dead and wounded, however, residents told Reuters at least 70 were killed during the attack. A U.N. official in the region, Edward Kallon, said “tens” of civilians were killed.
“The incident is the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year. I call for the perpetrators of this heinous and senseless act to be brought to justice,” said Kallon, who serves as the resident and humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria.
The U.N. Security Council said, “those responsible for these terrorist attacks should be held accountable.”
Reuters reports that 30 of the victims were beheaded in the attack. At least ten women were reportedly still missing as of Sunday.
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Protecting the criminals: U.N. condemns Nigeria’s laws that will castrate rapists and execute pedophiles
October 23, 2020
The Governor of Kaduna in Nigeria recently signed new laws into effect that stiffens the penalties for sex offenders in hopes of deterring the massive amount of sexual violence they have seen in the area.
Yes, the laws are tough, however, the citizens of Kaduna feel them necessary to stop the epidemic of sexual violence in the area. Now, the United Nations has publicly condemned the new penalties, saying they are “draconian.”
The UN is unhappy that those who are convicted of rape would be subjected to surgical castration, and those who rape children 14 and younger would be put to death.
Imagine how drastically sex crimes would drop if these perverts knew that they faced these penalties. And yet, the UN feels they know better than those that rule that area and are calling them out for the penalties.
UN Human Rights Chief @mbachelet stands in solidarity and outrage with survivors of #rape, and those demanding justice. Tempting as it may be to impose draconian punishment, she urges we shift the focus on justice and reparation for the victim ? https://t.co/yuDdJC7EW0 pic.twitter.com/I0PAptrLCF
— UN Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) October 15, 2020
Michelle Bachelet, the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, and former President of Chile, believes the punishments that Kaduna have currently in place are inhumane. She said:
“Tempting as it may be to impose draconian punishments on those who carry out such monstrous acts, we must not allow ourselves to commit further violations.”
The legislature in Nigeria called for "chopping off the genitals" of convicted rapists on Wednesday amid a surge in rapes nationwide. https://t.co/IOfaP2W920
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) July 17, 2020
Instead of continuing with these punishments, it is Bachelet’s belief that regardless of what type of punishment is given to a person, it does not deter crime. In her mind, the certainty that there will be punishment is what would deter crime. She said:
“Penalties like surgical castration and bilateral salpingectomy will not resolve any of the barriers to accessing justice, nor will it serve a preventive role. Surgical castration and salpingectomy violate the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment under international human rights law.”
Kaduna passed these laws after they saw a significant increase in sexual violence against people during the COVID-19 lockdowns in their country. From March to July, there were 717 reported rape cases and over 7,000 cases in which a victim alleged they had been raped but did not report it to authorities.
Sadly, this is nothing new for the country which seemingly has always had an issue with sexual violence. According to UNICEF:
“One in four girls and ten percent of boys have been victims of sexual violence.”
While there be many factors to blame, one glaring example appears to be their legal system and how police handle the complaints when the sex offense get reported. Wanda Ebe, herself a survivor of rape, said:
“They [victims] are either vilified for their dressing, being at the wrong place at the wrong time or accused of making up claims of rape.”
And when cases did get prosecuted, even though the law required up to 14 years in prison for the offense, Ebe states that the offenders would often get much lighter sentences. She said:
“The penalty for rape in Nigeria is up to 14 years in prison, but I have seen a judge sentence someone to just four years, with two years suspended, because he was young and had a life in front of him…What about the victim whose life he adversely affected?”
The African country began looking into doing something drastic to deter and deal with the rapists after the very public incident involving Uwaila Omozuwa, who was brutally raped and killed at her church. This incident shocked the conscious of the nation so badly that there were mass protests as a result.
These Nigerian organisations are driving impact across issues connected to sexual violence. ?https://t.co/MXsKooeynC
— Global Citizen Africa (@GlblCtznAfrica) September 20, 2020
Omozuwa was a 22-year-old student who had been studying at her local church. Her half-naked body was found lifeless in a pool of blood at a location where she had been a choir member for years.
Chidi Nwabuzor, a spokesman for the Edo Police Command, said:
“The item used in the assault, which was a fire extinguisher, was recovered. Immediately the operatives…screened the [extinguisher] for fingerprints which led to our suspect.”
The victim’s sister, Judith Omozuwa, said that she wanted to become a pastor and minister to the area. She was saddened that the victim had been brutally murdered in such a way at her family church. Judith said:
“[Uwaila] wanted to be a minister and preach the word of God…that she was murdered where she always found peace is just devastating.”
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