The United States government has condemned the killings of civilians in Nigeria in the past weeks, which it describes as brazen and senseless.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, called attention to attacks of communities in Borno and Katsina states by suspected members of the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP), a breakaway of Boko Haram.
“We condemn the recent senseless and brazen killings of civilians in northern Nigeria,” said Pompeo.
“In recent weeks, suspected ISIS West Africa militants launched multiple attacks in Borno State, killing more than 120 civilians, including women, children, and the elderly. On June 9, unidentified armed bandits attacked a village in Katsina State, killing dozens.
“These horrific crimes follow the shooting of a pastor and his pregnant wife on June 1 and the killing of an imam, local village head, and several civilians on June 5 in the course of intercommunal violence in Taraba State.”
The US urged the Nigerian government to increase its efforts towards ending the violent trend, bringing the criminals to book, and securing human lives.
“Tens of thousands of civilians have lost their lives in Nigeria in recent years to violent attacks by terrorist groups or criminal gangs, in inter-communal violence, or due to their religious beliefs,” the US Secretary of State said.
“The United States calls on the Government of Nigeria to do more to strengthen ongoing efforts to address this violence, hold those responsible accountable, and protect civilians,” he added.
HumAngle pointed out on Wednesday that 261 Nigerians lost their lives to insecurity, especially in the northern region, between Monday, June 8, 2020, and Saturday, June 13, 2020, a 32 per cent increase against the death toll of the previous week.
President Muhammadu Buhari, last Friday, while delivering the annual Democracy Day speech said his government is prioritising the fight against insurgency and banditry.
“All the Local Governments that were taken over by the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa have long been recovered and are now occupied by indigenes of these areas who were hitherto forced to seek a living in areas far from their ancestral homes,” he said despite facts to the contrary.