Report: Nigerian Army Massacred Children In Its Anti-Terror War

A Reuters report published on Tuesday, based on eyewitness accounts, claims that the Nigerian military deliberately massacred children in its fight against the Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram in the country's northeast.

Report: Nigerian Army Massacred Children In Its Anti-Terror War
Image credit: BBC

Facts

  • A Reuters report published on Tuesday, based on eyewitness accounts, claims that the Nigerian military deliberately massacred children in its fight against the Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram in the country's northeast.
  • Citing more than 40 soldiers and civilians, Reuters found that 60 children had been killed in six specific incidents, with the last occurring in February 2021. The witnesses' collective accounts add up to thousands of children allegedly killed, though Reuters was unable to independently verify all the estimates.
  • Soldiers and other security forces reportedly said they had been instructed by army commanders to "delete" children believed to have collaborated with Boko Haram or other Islamist groups, or whose fathers had been members of insurgent groups. In the past 13 years, at least 300K people are said to have been killed in the Nigerian army's fight against Islamist militants.
  • The latest Reuters report comes less than a week after the news agency published a report alleging that the Nigerian army was also running a systematic and illegal abortion program as part of its fight against Boko Haram. An estimated 10K pregnancies are said to have been terminated, often without the women's consent.
  • The Nigerian government and military reject the allegations of targeted child-killing and the existence of a "secret, systematic and illegal abortion program." The allegations, Abuja says, are an insult to Nigerians and part of a foreign attempt to impede the country's fight against terrorism.
  • Meanwhile, Washington said Tuesday that it was "deeply troubled" by the latest Reuters investigation, and had raised the allegations with the Nigerian government. According to the US State Department, "decisions about next steps" will be made based on a review of the report.

Sources: Reuters, Sahara Reporters, Al Jazeera, and US News.

Narratives

  • Narrative A, as provided by Authority. Reuters continues to peddle false reports and defamatory narratives against Nigeria. The Western media is trying to undermine Nigerian efforts to fight terrorism in order to promote instability in the country. Reuters even admits that it can't verify its claims — it should be ashamed of such disgraceful "reporting."
  • Narrative B, as provided by MercatorNet. The Nigerian army is conducting systematic mass killings of children and forcing women to have illegal abortions. These are absolutely heinous acts that Nigeria must not ignore and which need to be investigated immediately. If the reports prove accurate, the international community must hold the Nigerian government accountable.

Predictions