Nigeria. The violence spiral continued during the year,
mainly in northeastern Nigeria. The extremist Muslim sect
Boko Haram is suspected to be behind many attacks. At least
25 people were killed in a concerted attack in the town of
Ganye near the Cameroon border in March. 120 prisoners were
also released. In April, government forces attacked the city
of Baga in the north since suspected Boko Haram members
attacked a military column. Many civilians were among the
187 killed when the military attacked an alleged Boko Haram
camp. The human rights organization Human Rights Watch
criticized the military for assault when a couple of
thousand homes were destroyed. The military said civilians
were used as human shields.
Countryaah, a commission was appointed in April to investigate a
possible amnesty, ceasefire and causes of violence in the
north. However, similar initiatives have failed in the past.
President Goodluck Jonathan in May terrorized Boko Haram
and the related group Ansaru. An emergency permit was
introduced in the northern states of Yobe, Borno and
Adamawa, which make up one sixth of the country. More
soldiers were ordered out. The United States and several
European countries called for restraint. UN Refugee Agency
UNHCR pleaded that thousands of people who had moved to
other parts of Nigeria and neighboring countries should not
be forced back. In addition to military and police, the
National Guard participates in the fight against Boko Haram.
Local knowledge is considered important. But according to
Human Rights Watch, it led to more revenge attacks on
civilians. And although the government seemed to be
strengthening its control over the larger cities in the
Northeast, attacks on villages and smaller cities continued.
Boko Haram was suspected in September of setting up
temporary roadblocks in the state of Bono where at least 140
people were killed. The same month, 143 students and
teachers were killed during a nightly attack on a farming
school in the state of Yobe. Twenty-two were killed in a
similar attack in July at a boarding school.
The human rights group Amnesty International criticized
in November that the state of emergency was extended when
the military got too free hands. According to Amnesty, at
least 950 alleged Boko Haram supporters died in the military
detention during the first six months of the year, others
disappeared without a trace. Few have been brought to
justice. In July, however, four men were sentenced to life
imprisonment for a 2012 explosion that claimed 19 lives.
A major attack on a military base in Borno's capital
Maiduguri in early December reminded Boko Haram not to be
calculated. At least 24 rebels were killed. Boko Haram
leader Abubakar Shekau later appeared in a video recording
and promised to continue the fight. The US terrorist-stamped
Boko Haram in November, promulgating a $ 7 million reward in
July for tips that could lead to Shekau being arrested.
President Jonathan and the ruling People's Democracy
Party (PDP), which ruled since the military rule ceased in
1999, were also challenged politically. Four opposition
parties joined in February in the Progress Congress (APC).
Even within the PDP, it was uneasy. Seven governors,
several from the north, and former Vice President Atiku
Abubakar formed their own faction in protest against
Jonathan's rule and to possibly impede his candidacy in the
2015 presidential election. Nine ministers replaced. Several
of them were from northern states. In November, six of the
defunct governors joined APC.
Nigeria was criticized for having carried out the first
executions since 2006 when four prisoners were hanged in
In May, the federal parliament's lower house passed a law
against same-sex marriage that bans membership in gay
organizations. The UN Human Rights Commissioner was
critical. The law, which was passed by the Senate in 2011,
takes effect when the president signs.
Nigeria rejected criticism of Sudan's president attending
an African summit in July, despite being called by the
International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
Piracy attacks remained a problem in Nigeria's waters.
The International Maritime Agency (IMB) reported 29 cases
between January and September. That was eight more than
In the Niger Delta, environmental degradation was
reported as a result of oil spills. Amnesty stated that the
oil companies exaggerated data on sabotage of pipelines to
avoid paying compensation to affected villages.