Having discovered discovered above 70 bodies in six mass graves in Tillaberi, Niger’s national human rights commission has accused the Nigerian army of executing dozens of civilians during operations in March and April.
The killings allegedly happened earlier this year.
As reported, one of the investigators said the civilians had been killed with bladed weapons and small arms.
International rights groups have accused the armies of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso of carrying out dozens of extrajudicial executions during campaigns against armed groups in the Sahel region.
Niger’s National Commission on Human Rights was investigating allegations that 102 civilians had gone missing in the troubled region between 27 March and 2 April after an army operation.
“There have indeed been executions of unarmed civilians and the mission discovered at least 71 bodies in six mass graves,” said Abdoulaye Seydou, the president of the Pan-African Network for Peace, Democracy, and Development, which took part in the investigation.
“It is elements of the Defense and Security Forces (FDS) which are responsible for these summary and extrajudicial executions,” he added.
But Seydou said it was not possible to say whether top levels of the army were responsible.
There has been no response to the claim from the Niger authorities.
Nigerian Police and Army have injured civilians for several times in recent years.
Also, last week, on August 30, dozens of people were injured and two were arrested after Nigerian police attacked mourners marking the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH) on Ashura day.
Ashura mourning ceremonies were held in more than 300 areas of Nigeria by supporters of the prominent Muslim cleric Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, and in some areas police clashed with mourners, injuring and detaining several, Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) website reported.
Back in 2015, Nigerian Army brutally invaded and attacked Imam Hussein’s mourners in Sahib al-Zaman Husseiniyah and killed about 2,000 mourners. After injuring Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife, the Nigerian Army transferred Nigeria’s top Shia Cleric to an unknown location.
Following the Nigerian Army’s attack to Baqiyatallah Husseiniyah, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky was severely injured and lost one of his eyes completely due to the severity of his injuries and his other eye was exposed to blindness.