Boko Haram could be guilty of war crimes, says UN human rights arm

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Cécile Pouilly, spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Members of Boko Haram, an Islamist militant group operating in northern Nigeria, could be found guilty of "war crimes", a spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said on Tuesday.

In a briefing to the press in Geneva, Cécile Pouilly, condemned last weekend's "atrocious" attack on a wedding convoy in Borno state, where some 30 guests were ambushed and killed.

Located near the border with Cameroon, the Bama-Mubi-Banki road, on which the attack took place, is notorious for attacks carried out by the Islamist group.

"According to information which OHCHR had received, there were attacks almost on a daily basis in the North East of Nigeria, especially in Borno and neighbouring areas. OHCHR strongly condemned the cowardly attacks by Boko Haram, who continued to target civilians, including students and worshippers, politicians, members of Government institutions, foreign nationals, as well as security forces. Members of Boko Haram and other groups and entities, if judged to have committed widespread or systematic attacks against a civilian population, including on grounds such as religion or ethnicity, could be found guilty of crimes against humanity.”

During the attack, Pouilly added, four soldiers were killed, their post burnt down, and a bridge link to a nearby town was bombed.

OHCHR is also following up on allegations of abuses and human rights violations committed by security forces during operations.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration:  1’35″



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