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.
According to 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 June.
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 2012.
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.