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SERAP wants UN special session on Plateau massacre

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Socio-economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an open letter to all permanent representatives and observer states of the UN Human Rights Council, Geneva, urging them “to initiate and actively support the urgent holding of a special session of the council to address the ongoing killings by suspected herdsmen and/or unknown persons in Nigeria, most recently in Plateau State, where over 80 people were brutally murdered.”

The organisation urged the council to adopt a resolution to “condemn in the strongest possible terms the ongoing killings and revenge attacks on innocent Nigerians and residents by suspected herdsmen and/or unknown persons as well as the ongoing impunity enjoyed by suspected perpetrators and groups that have suggested these atrocities may be retaliatory killings.”

In the letter, dated June 26, 2018 and signed by its Deputy Director, Timothy Adewale, SERAP stated: “The proposed measures are necessary because several calls by Nigerians asking the authorities to end the killings and attacks have largely gone unheeded for too long.

The Human Rights Council cannot ignore the persistent attacks and killings of Nigerians and residents.

If the council does not assume its responsibility and give voice to the victims, it would exacerbate the impunity of the perpetrators and deepen the invisibility of the killings and attacks to the comity of nations.”

The rights group hinged its appeal on Paragraph 8 of the General Assembly Resolution 60/251 which “authorises the suspension of the rights of membership of a member of the council that commits and/or allows gross and systematic killings, attacks and other grave violations of human rights.”

In a related development, a presidential aspirant on the platform of the Alliance for a New Nigeria (ANN), Elishama Ideh, has called on President Buhari to declare a state of emergency on the nation’s security architecture.

Ideh, who made the demand yesterday in a statement in Lagos in the wake of the recent attacks on the Plateau, lamented what she termed “total disregard for the sanctity of human life, as the killings have continued unabated without any sign that they are stopping anytime soon.”

Also yesterday, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) Country Director, Cheick Ba, said over 4,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) are at the risk of contracting malaria and diarrhea at Dikwa Resettlement Camp in Borno State.

The refugees, comprising mainly women and children, are sheltering in the open while being screened after fleeing military operations in the border areas with Cameroun.


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