Amnesty International has revealed that the Boko Haram insurgents have killed many aged citizens at disproportionate levels due to their inability to flee attacks.
It noted that many villages in areas under Boko Haram control are populated by older people who are unable to flee or who choose to stay and continue working their land.
A 67-page report was released titled, ‘My heart is in pain: Older people’s experience of conflict, displacement, and detention in North-East Nigeria’, where the organisation disclosed that older people were killed both by the terrorist group and the military.
The report released on Monday 7th December, 2020, also revealed that humanitarian response got to them only as “an afterthought.”
The global human rights group said it reviewed more than 120 images of corpses brought from the barracks to a local mortuary, and spoke to individuals with insider knowledge who estimated that “15-25 per cent of those who have perished are older men.”
The report stated
This is disproportionately high, as older men appear to account for no more than 4 per cent of the population in North-East Nigeria. In April 2017 alone, 166 corpses were transferred from Giwa to the mortuary
It further noted that humanitarian agencies estimate that older people account for around 150,000 of the 2.1 million people displaced by the conflict in North-East.
The research, carried out between November 2019 and October 2020, involved 62 older women and 71 older men affected by the conflict.
The Director of Crisis Response at Amnesty International, Joanne Mariner, said,
When Boko Haram has invaded towns and villages, older men and women have often been among the last to flee, leaving them particularly exposed to the armed group’s brutality and repression – amounting to war crimes and likely crimes against humanity.
This has included torture, being forced to witness killings and abductions of their children, as well as looting resulting in extreme food insecurity.”