Amnesty International has condemned the massacre of stranded travellers in Auno village of Borno State, with a call on the Nigerian government to do more to secure innocent citizens.
Boko Haram terrorists on Sunday night attacked travellers sleeping in vehicles outside a highway gate locked by soldiers, and killed over 30 persons and abducted some.
Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State blamed the military for the attack, saying authorities had ignored repeated requests for a military base to be established at Auno. The governor also said the attack took no place because soldiers had abandoned their duty posts.
Mr Zulum’s predecessor, Kashim Shettima, on Tuesday called on the defence headquarters to set up a probe panel to probe the killings.
In its statement Tuesday, Amnesty the massacre of at least 30 travellers by Boko Haram “is vicious, and yet another demonstration of the group’s disregard for the sanctity of human life.”
“This cruel attack, whose casualties include women and children in their sleep, must not go unpunished,” the group said.
It said the attack on civilians in transit may amount to possible war crimes.
“The escalation of Boko Haram violence, and the fact that they have attacked Auno at least six times in 10-months, shows that the security measures implemented by the authorities are not working,” Amnesty said.
Mr. Shettima, now senator representing Borno Central District, said the defense headquarters should inaugurate a probe panel that would “transparently generate facts on how 30 passengers lost their lives on Sunday night.”
The former governor, under whose senatorial district Auno, a village in Konduga local government area, is located, said the resurgence of Boko Haram needs to be checked.
Mr. Shettima advised that the investigation panel should, “as a necessary condition, request representatives from Borno State Government, Auno community, bereaved families, transport unions, etc.”
“The fact-finding, which should be concluded within days, is to ensure justice and fairness for victims and to prevent future occurrence particularly by looking into the most acceptable and efficient motorists can be managed in the midst of the insurgency that we hope is ended soonest,” he said.