Africa: Nigeria Bloodbath Could Spill Into Entire Africa

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Abuja — AN international envoy has warned of the impact of the deadly violence in Nigeria on the African continent.

The warning by Agnes Callamard, United Nations Special Rapporteur for Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, comes amid the Boko Haram conflict, clashes between farmers and cattle herders, attacks against some Muslim faithful by state security personnel as well as an onslaught against people engaged in same-sex relationships.

Callamard, who has concluded a 12-day mission to Nigeria, expressed concern perpetrators, including the uniformed forces, were mostly not held accountable.

"The absence today of accountability functionality is on such a scale that pretending this is anything short of a crisis is a major mistake," the envoy said.

"It is a tragedy for the people of Nigeria. Unchecked, its ripple effects will spread throughout the sub-region if not the continent, given the country's central economic, political and cultural leadership role."

Callamard said the overall situation she encountered in Nigeria gave rise to extreme concern.

"By many measures, the federal authorities and the international partners are presiding over an injustice pressure cooker. Some of the specific contexts I examined are simmering," she said.

Callamard has presented these preliminary findings to local authorities.

The official final report will be presented to the Human Rights Council in June next year.

Nigeria is Africa's most populous country (198 million people) and its biggest economy but is also one of the most volatile nations.

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