Nigeria Orders Investigation Into Its Army
August 12, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, Aug. 12 (UPI) — Nigeria’s defense minister, saying some troops “overreacted,” called for an investigation into abuse of civilians by troops battling an extremist sect.
The shooting death of a woman carrying her young child sparked the investigation but the alleged abuses have been going on for some time, the BBC reported.
Troops are fighting a radical group called Boko Haram, which translates as “Western education is forbidden.” The organization has conducted killings and bombings in northeast Nigeria in an attempt to overthrow the government and create an Islamic state, the BBC said
The army is “doing a very good job” in protecting lives while fighting Boko Haram but some soldiers “overreacted” in some cases, Defense Minister Bello Mohammed said.
“However, a few bad eggs amongst them sometimes overreact to situations and create discontent amongst the civilian population thereby dragging the name of the military to disrepute,” Mohammed said.
Rights groups have blamed the army for several unlawful deaths. Amnesty International said troops in the Joint Task Force sent to Borno were responsible for at least 23 deaths and the burning of a market.