AFRICA/NIGERIA - The satellite images testify the heavy destruction in Baga

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - 2,275 buildings destroyed and 125 seriously damaged. This is the budget, of the military operation against a cell of Boko Haram carried out by soldiers of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) in Baga, a fishing village on the shores of Lake Chad, in Borno State in northeastern Nigeria. This was stated by a survey carried out by the humanitarian organization Human Rights Watch, based on satellite imagery, accusing the military of serious abuses against the civilian population.
The operation was carried out between 16 and 17 April when the military of the MJTF, a unit formed by soldiers from Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon, in charge of ensuring the safety of Lake Chad, were attacked by militants of Boko Haram. In the attack an officer lost his life. The reaction of the soldiers, according to residents was disproportionate: At least 185 people were killed, most of them civilians (see Fides 22/04/2013 and 25/04/2013). President Goodluck Jonathan said that according to official reports the victims confirmed are 36, but has promised further investigation to ascertain the facts. The military command finally claims that most of the damage to homes are the result of the explosion of the clandestine arsenal of the Boko Haram cell. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 02/05/2013)