Baga, a fishing community in Borno State, was last weekend invaded by men of the Joint Task Force (JTF). Under the pretext of fighting Boko Haram militant group, between 187- 400 people, mainly civilians, where killed when JTF opened fire on the fishing community with machine guns.
Most of the dead were burnt beyond recognition when the homes and businesses where touched by the government agents.
The assault on the town began when JTF attacked Muslims in a Mosque they claim housed members of Boko Haram. They where said to have left and later returned to levelled half of the town down killing everything on their path including women and children who where burnt in their homes.
JTF blamed the large number of civilian deaths on Boko Haram members who they claimed used civilians as human shield. This claim Associated Press implied to mean that Soldiers opened fire on neighbourhoods where they knew civilians lived.
Associated Press journalist who accompanied the state officials to Baga said soldiers purposefully set the fires during the attack.
It will be recalled that in June 2009, members of Nigerian security Forces tagged “Operation Thunder Storm” killed members of the once peaceful Islamic group while the group members where on a funeral procession over traffic offence ( for not using helmet). This marked the genesis of the violence confrontation that have ranged between Boko Haram militant group and the Nigeria State.
The Leader of the group, Muhammad Yusuf, was executed in Police Custody in June/July 2009 and video of police execution of Muslims, believed to be Boko Haram members, in the street of Maiduguri, was also shown on Aljazeera.
The slaughter of the defenceless and unarmed civilians at Odi of Beyelsa State (1999), Zaki Biam in Benue State (2001) and the collective punishment visited on the Nigerian Muslim community in the North-East by forces of the Nigeria State, particularly the Nigeria Army, underline the lunacy of the Nigeria Army that today behaves like the Labanese Christian Phalangist militia (of the 70s and 80s) rather than a conventional modern army.
The current crisis have further been exacerbate by the JTF continuous atrocities in the northern part of the country. Journalist and Human Right organisations have documented crimes of JTF in the past couple of years.
On our part, we have published several piece documenting criminal acts of JTF which we believe should be considered as Genocide and we have continuously called on the Federal Government to prevail on JTF to stop their murderous campaign against Nigeria Citizens.
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