The Global Amnesty Watch has observed recent incidents of suicide bombings using human borne improvised explosive devices and other Boko Haram opportunistic attacks on soft targets. Coming at a time when Nigerians, particularly those in the northeast, are beginning to put the ravages of the terror group behind them, the development calls for prompt action to ensure life in the region is not put at risk.
The attacks, which are apparently attempts by Boko Haram to reassert its degraded influence or dominance, must be immediately curtailed by the authorities with the active support of citizens to ensure that terrorists have no chance of regrouping to again torment the population.
It is a clear sign of war fatigue that the Federal Government must respond to in practical terms. We therefore urge the government to immediately design an exit program that includes working with credible NGOs and foreign partners to increase pressure on the remnants of the terrorists to surrender their arms and submit for rehabilitation.
The Global Amnesty Watch appreciates the Nigerian Army and other branches of the Nigerian Armed Forces for prosecuting the war within the rules of engagement in conformity with best international standard. The military has demonstrated a high level of professionalism in addressing some of the humanitarian crises arising from the war against insurgency.
This success however has its elastic limits considering the attempts by Boko Haram to mutate. It is therefore the right time for the Federal Government of Nigeria to put alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in place to ensure that the end of Boko Haram is finally seen in that country.
The exit strategy must thus include the Attorney General and Minister of Justice of Nigeria and the Department of State Security assuring commanders of the sect of their safety should they surrender to designated actors. This should also include a hybrid justice system that affords Nigerian troops the capacity to address security threats posed to the nation's sovereignty without running foul of international conventions.
Authorities should in the interim scale up operations to safeguard civilians by forestalling further attacks on soft targets in the northeast axis of the country.
GAW Office, London.