Monday, November 28, 2022

Victims of terrorism demand compensation, apology from FG, Boko Haram: Report

The victims are asking that compensation be given to them for losing their source of livelihood.

• November 8, 2022
Victims of Boko Haram at Borno IDP camp
Victims of Boko Haram at Borno IDP camp used to illustrate the story [Photo Credit: The Guardian Nigeria]

A survey conducted in Borno on transitional justice for victims of insurgency said most Boko Haram victims are demanding for reparation and apology.

The survey on Stakeholders’ Perceptions on Priorities for Implementation of Transitional Justice in North-East, was undertaken by Allamin Foundation for Peace and Development, funded by UK Aid.

Lawan Gana, a consultant, who presented the report of the survey on Tuesday in Maiduguri, said that the victims asked that compensation be given to those who lost their source of livelihood.

They also requested for “true healing and reconciliation”, in line with transitional justice, he said.

According to Mr Gana, these include apology, provision of economic empowerment programmes for victims, and access to healthcare and education for their children.

He said the survey involved 446 victims from four LGAs of Maiduguri Metropolitan, Dikwa, Gwoza and Bama.

Mr Gana pointed out that the victims also wanted the government to play the lead in the reconciliation process, which should involve other stakeholders like security and religious leaders.

He said that the survey recommended among others the establishment of a strengthened community accountability programme for transitional justice.

It also recommended the development of an exclusive transitional justice policy for Borno and an open declaration by ex-combatants to accept transitional justice.

In her remarks, Hamsatu Allamin, Executive Director of the foundation, said the brief presentation of the findings on transitional justice to stakeholders was to give them the opportunity to make observations where necessary.

Ms Allamin noted that during the survey almost everyone was claiming to be victims, including some of the insurgents.

She said one of the repentant Boko-Haram members, claimed that he was a victim because Customs officers allegedly seized his trailer loaded with goods and failed to get it released even after spending a lot of money.

“He said that when he heard that there is a group (Boko-Haram) fighting injustice he decided to join them,” Ms Allamin said.

She observed that such a complex situation would be best addressed through transitional justice.

Transitional justice covers the full range of processes and mechanisms associated with a society’s attempt to address the legacy of large-scale past conflict, repression, violations and abuses.

It is meant to ensure accountability, serve justice and achieve reconciliation, as well as provide recognition to victims, enhance the trust of individuals in State institutions, reinforce respect for human rights and promote the rule of law.

The processes may include both judicial and non-judicial mechanisms, including truth-seeking, prosecution, reparation, and various measures to ensure reconciliation and prevent the recurrence of new violations.


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