- An International human rights group has accused the United States government of exaggerating its reports on Nigeria
- The group said US report that children were being used as Civilian Joint Task Force members for anti-terrorism in Nigeria is false
- The group said its independent investigations revealed the civilian JTF operates independently and voluntarily in the region
An International human rights group, Global Amnesty Watch (GAW) has accused the United States government of exaggerating its reports that children were being used a s Civilian Joint Task Force members for anti-terrorism in Nigeria.
The group said after its independent investigation of the allegation revealed that the US report is a false exaggeration of the situation in the North-East.
GAW said from its investigations, it discovered that the civilian JTF operates independently and voluntarily in the region.
The group's country representative Helen Adesola while addressing journalists in Maiduguri said GAW's investigation revealed that in 2013 youths who were tired of the incessant attacks on their villages by terrorists decided to arm themselves with sticks, swords, bows, arrows, and in rare occasions Dane guns and formed vigilante groups to repel Boko Haram attacks.
Adesola said: "The loose vigilante groups came to be known as Civilian JTF."
"The Borno State Government has carried out intervention programmes like empowerment schemes and training for members of the Civilian JTF. These programmes required them to register and provide personal details that include Date of Birth (DoB). These details are available in record archives of the state.
"The finding from analyzing these records is that even when the 2013 formation year of Civilian JTF is factored in the DoBs on record showed that those that were captured were of age, being older than 18 years old at the time of joining the group.
Other information like educational level support this fact because many of them being at holders of at least a basic diploma of having completed one form of apprenticeship or the other post-secondary school, were well past the minimum age before becoming part of the Civilian JTF," Adesola said.
She further accused the US government and 'other world powers' of deliberately denying Nigeria access to military hardware in the height of the nation's fight against insurgency.
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She urged these government's to tender an unreserved apology to apologies to the families of the innocent Nigerians who were killed by the terrorists.
NAIJ.com earlier reported that Nigeria maybe listed countries that recruits child solders in the world.
The United States 2017 Trafficking in Persons report has stated that Nigeria is among countries that might be sanctioned for going against Child Soldier Prohibition Act, CSPA 2008.
The report stated on Tuesday, June 27, that those countries that have broken the act will face the consequence of CSPA provisions.
You can watch this NAIJ.com video of Nigerian Air Force operations against Boko Haram: