The Criminality of Counter-Insurgency in North-East Nigeria, 2012-2019
A Study of the Multinational Joint Task Force
Keywords:War Crime, MNJTF, North-East, Nigeria, Terrorism
The Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) is the major collaborative military initiative among the countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) saddled with the responsibility of combating Boko Haram Terrorism (BHT) within the region. Although the body seems to have achieved some successes, they have however, over the years, been involved in seemingly clandestine activities such as torture, extra-judicial execution, gender-based violence, etc., which, according to international humanitarian law, if committed during non-international armed conflict, are regarded as war crimes. This study seeks to investigate the nature and pattern of war crimes committed by some Nigerian military forces under the MNJTF in the course of Counter-Insurgency (COIN) operations against Boko Haram terrorists in north-east Nigeria between 2012 and 2019. It also investigates the implications of these travesties on victims, the war against terrorism and Nigeria in general. It analyses the various war crimes committed by the MNJTF. It also examines the measures for curbing the criminal activities of some members of the MNJTF. This study engages the following issues: what are the war crimes committed by the Nigerian soldiers under the MNJTF or why is the latter accused of gross human rights violations? What are the implications of the criminality of the MNJTF? What measures should be taken to curb the criminality of the MNJTF in north-east Nigeria? This study uses both primary and secondary sources. It anchors on Biological and Cultural Transmission Theories of criminology. The study reveals that the statutory body in charge of countering terrorism and also securing human lives, is also, like the Boko Haram terrorists, terrorising innocent civilians and promoting insecurity in north-east Nigeria. The conclusion is that the MNJTF is smudged with the brush of brutality and terrorism.