The Nigerian army has denied a new report on killings resulting from farmers-herders conflict released by Amnesty International (AI).
The army said the report is a “fabrication of fictitious allegations of alleged human rights abuses”, accusing the organisation of “working hard to destabilise Nigeria”.
It said AI’s goals are “to destabilise Nigeria and to dismember it” and that it would have no option but to call for the closure of Amnesty International offices in Nigeria, if “such recklessness continues.”
Hundreds of Nigerians have been killed in 2018 in attacks by suspected herdsmen and farmers as well as in clashes between the two groups.
In the new report released on Monday, AI said “almost 4,000” lives have been lost to such attacks in the last three years, and that “no one has been held accountable.”
But reacting via a statement issued by Sani Usman, its spokesman, the army said AI “has deviated from the core values, principles and objectives of the original Amnesty International domiciled in the United Kingdom.”
“There is credible information that the Nigerian branch of the International Non-governmental Organisation is determined to destabilise the Nigerian nation,” the statement read.
“This is noted through fabrication of fictitious allegations of alleged human rights abuses against the Nigerian security forces and clandestine sponsorship of dissident groups to protest, as well as unfounded allegations against the leadership of the Nigerian military.
“They have tried over the years using Boko Haram terrorists conflicts, Islamic Movement in Nigeria, some activists and now herders-farmers conflicts.”
The army has denied virtually every report released by the organisation and other human rights watchdogs on issues concerning human rights violations.
The last of such – on the alleged rape of internally displaced persons (IDPs) – was also rejected, with the army saying it “may take action” against the organisation.
A recent report by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in which it accused the Nigerian military of committing crimes against humanity was tagged “campaign of calumny.”