We estimate that, in 2014, more than 4,000 people were killed
in Boko Haram attacks, and 900 people kidnapped in Nigeria.
This included the abduction of over 270 schoolgirls from Chibok
in Borno State on 14 April. The UN estimates that over 1.5 million
people have been displaced, and at least three million have been
affected by the insurgency in north-east Nigeria.
In 2014, there were increased reports of attacks by Boko Haram
and counter-attacks by Nigerian armed forces in towns and
villages across north-east Nigeria. Much of the violence has been
concentrated in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States, but there have
also been serious terrorist attacks outside these states, such as in
Abuja, Jos, Kaduna, and Kano, leading to the death and injury of
civilians. Serious human rights abuses perpetrated by Boko Haram
include the bombing of public places and religious buildings,
the abduction of women and children, the execution of those
suspected of aiding the authorities, and fatal attacks on schools
and colleges. A Human Rights Watch report in October highlighted
Boko Haram’s violence against women and girls in north-east
Nigeria, including sexual violence and forced marriage. A number of
NGOs have alleged that serious human rights violations have been
committed by the Nigerian Security Forces, including extrajudicial
killings and torture. In August, Amnesty International and the
Channel 4 “Dispatches” programme claimed that Nigerian military
personnel and the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) in northern
Nigeria had perpetrated extrajudicial killings. Many of these cases
were linked to the Boko Haram attack on Giwa barracks in March,
and the response by the Nigerian Security Forces.
Nigerian military courts have found 66 Nigerian military personnel
guilty of mutiny and sentenced them to death. The legal process,
including appeals, continues. We have made clear to the Nigerian
authorities the UK’s opposition to the death penalty in all cases.
We are currently providing a substantial package of military,
intelligence, and development support to Nigeria to help it tackle
the threat from Boko Haram. UK military assistance includes
training and advice to Nigerian units subsequently deployed against
Boko Haram. All military assistance provided to Nigeria by the UK is
strictly assessed under the UK government’s OSJA Guidance.
We continue to encourage Nigeria to respond constructively to
reports of human rights violations by its security forces, and to
launch credible investigations into allegations. We have been clear
that if members of the military and security forces or CJTF are
found to have been involved in human rights violations, they should
be brought to justice.
We are also providing support to the large numbers of people
displaced by the conflict in north-east Nigeria. In 2014, the UK
contributed £1.7 million to the UN’s Central Emergency Response
Fund and the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil
Protection department programmes in Nigeria. A further £1 million
was provided by the Department for International Development
to the International Committee of the Red Cross to provide
humanitarian assistance to those in dire need.