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Nigeria: Protection of civilians must be central to any AU decisions on north-east Nigeria

    January 29, 2015

    The protection of civilians must be central to today’s discussions at the African Union summit on how to tackle the growing threat of Boko Haram, said Amnesty International.

    The situation in north-east Nigeria, including the possibility of the deployment of a regional force against Boko Haram, is expected to be part of the AU’s Peace and Security Council talks this evening, and Amnesty International is calling for African leaders to ensure that the protection of civilian in north east Nigeria is at the top of the agenda.
    “In the face of Boko Haram’s bloody onslaught the protection of civilians is the key priority. Ultimately it is the responsibility of Nigeria’s authorities to take all feasible measures to protect the civilian population including by assisting with an evacuation of those who wish to flee and transporting them to safer areas,” said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa director.  

    “It is vital that the protection of civilians is at the core of any decisions made and that if deployed, any regional force respects international humanitarian law and international human rights law.”

    A new guide to Boko Haram has been published by Amnesty International today http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/boko-haram-glance-2015-01-29

    To arrange an interview, please contact: Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations 416-363-9933 ext 332 bberton-hunter@amnesty.ca