Kaduna bombing: Military trying to cover up mass killing –Amnesty Int’l

At the mass burial of some of the victims of the error bombing

Amnesty International, has accused Nigeria military of trying to cover up mass killing of civilians in the bombing of Tudun Biri village, Kaduna State.

It also called on the Nigerian authorities to promptly, thoroughly, independently, impartially, transparently and effectively investigate the killing of more than 120 civilians in two military air strikes on Sunday in Tudun Biri village, Kaduna State, instead of engaging in attempts to cover up the crime.

Isa Sanusi, Director Amnesty International Nigeria in a statement on Wednesday, noted that at around 10p.m., on December 3, the Nigerian military launched an air strike on a religious gathering at Tudun Biri – a village near Kaduna northern Nigeria.

It added that a second air strike was launched around 30 minutes later, killing dozens, including those who rushed to the scene to rescue victims of the initial strike.

Amnesty Int’l said the Nigerian military has since put out two contradictory explanations.

An initial statement by the Nigerian army in Kaduna said the air strike was a mistake. This was followed by a statement from Nigeria’s Defence Headquarters claiming that suspected bandits had embedded with civilians.

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The victims were buried in two mass graves on December 4, 2023.

The Nigerian military’s recklessness is a result of the authorities’ consistent failure to hold them to account for a long list of such atrocities. These unlawful killings of civilians cannot be swept under the carpet.

The President Bola Tinubu administration must promptly set up an independent inquiry into Tudun Biri village air strike and, where these investigations indicate criminal responsibility, ensure that those suspected to be responsible are brought to justice in fair trials.

Victims and their families must be provided with access to justice and effective remedies.”

Amnesty Int’l said it found that 77 people were buried in one of the two mass graves and over 17 people from nearby village who attended the religious ceremony were also buried, while dozens severely injured are currently receiving treatment at Kaduna’s main hospital.

The contradictory explanations offered by the Nigerian military so far show their complete disregard for civilian lives and suggest attempts by the authorities to cover-up these grave human rights violations.

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Air strikes with deadly consequences for civilians are becoming routine. This is completely unacceptable,” said Sanusi.

It said: “On December 18, 2022, an air strike by the Nigerian Air Force killed 64 people in Mutumji village in Zamfara state.

On January 24, 2023, a military air strike killed more than 40 herders in Doma region of Nasarawa state.

And, in January 2023, dozens of vigilantes were killed by a military air strike in Galadima Kogo in Niger state, central Nigeria.

The Nigerian military has consistently failed to thoroughly, independently, impartially, transparently and effectively investigate these incidents.

The Nigerian authorities’ persistent failure to hold the military to account is encouraging impunity and increasingly endangering the lives of the civilians the military is supposed to be protecting.

The result is that the military is routinely carrying out air strikes that end up killing civilians,” said Sanusi

The body noted that was the deadliest air strike since the 2017 air strike on Rann village which killed 115 civilians.

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