The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission), meeting at its 17th Extraordinary Session held in Banjul, The Gambia, from 19 to 28 February 2015;
Recalling its mandate to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights pursuant to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter);
Recalling further its Resolutions, in particular Resolutions ACHPR/RES. 211 (EXT.OS/XI) 2012, ACHPR/RES.214(OS/LI)2012 and ACHPR/RES.267(EXT.OS)2014 on the human rights situation condemning the numerous and recurrent acts of violence committed in the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the group commonly known as Boko Haram which have resulted, inter alia, in loss of lives, injuries, destruction of property, internal displacements which have generally disrupted the lives of citizens, particularly in the North Eastern States of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa;
Reiterating its condemnation of these atrocities attributable to Boko Haram;
Deeply concerned by the protracted reign of terror by Boko Haram since July 2009 characterised by bomb attacks, shootings in public places, places of worship such as churches and mosques, prisons, police stations and schools as well as the abduction of women and children;
Further concerned by the escalating frequency and severity of the attacks which is reported to have resulted in the deaths of not less than 4,000 civilians in 2014 and more than 2,000 deaths so far in 2015, and also that these acts of violence now threaten the peace and security of neighboring countries of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;
Recalling the Declaration of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (Doc.Ass/AU/Decl.3(XXIV)) during the 24th Ordinary Session held in January 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, expressing its support to the countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and Benin in the fight against Boko Haram;
- Strongly reiterates its condemnation of these acts of violence against the civilian population, and in particular the recent Baga incident in Nigeria in January 2015, in which Boko Haram militants assaulted the town, killing about 2,000 people and forcibly displacing hundreds of other individuals both internally and to neighbouring States;
- Further condemns the spiralling use of female and children suicide bombers;
- Welcomes the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union, the African Union and the entire international community towards coordinated and collective action against terrorism and transnational organized crime on the Continent, and in particular, in the fight against Boko Haram;
- Supports the initiatives taken by Member States of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and Benin in particular, to launch a cross-border military operation, the Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF) to combat Boko Haram in the region;
- Calls Upon the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the LCBC Member States and Benin in their sustained efforts to curb the Boko Harm insurgency to:
(i) Continue to guarantee the safety, security and protection of civilians in the affected countries and communities, and to strengthen their collaboration in securing the lives of the civilian population and the protection of public and private property, in accordance with their regional and international human rights obligations;
(ii) Ensure that the operations of the MJTF in response to Boko Haram are conducted in a transparent manner, in compliance with human rights and international humanitarian law;
(iii) Adopt rules of engagement of security staff encompassing the principles of human rights;
(iv)Take all necessary measures during evacuations of civilian populations to safer areas, informing them beforehand of possible risks and dangers;
(v) Take all appropriate and specific measures for the management of victims of violence, in particular women and child soldiers.
6. Urges the authorities of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to investigate, prosecute and bring to trial the perpetrators of abuses committed by the parties in conflict.
7. Calls upon the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union and the international community to consolidate the actions and initiatives launched in the fight against terrorism, in particular Boko Haram.
Done in Banjul, The Gambia on 28 February 2015