The Nigerian military has faulted a report by rights group Amnesty International (AI) that it is subjecting children in the northeast ravaged by Boko Haram insurgency to unlawful treatment and detention.
Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday said that there were no children detained in any of its detention centres across the country.
He said; “Amnesty International was only trying to undermine the success and efforts of the Nigerian military in the fight against insurgency.”
While reacting to the crisis in the northeast, Enenche said; “Worries had emanated from several quarters in the northwest and the north central that armed bandits could escape from states where troops were conducting various operations at the moment, to other states.
“However, the military has put proactive measures in place to handle such occurrences,” he added.
The allegation by Amnesty International was contained in a report on Tuesday titled, “‘We dry our tears’: Addressing the toll on children of Northeast Nigeria’s conflict”.
According to AI, the 91-page report was based on interviews conducted between November 2019 and April 2020 with more than 230 people affected by the conflict, including 119 who were children when they suffered serious crimes by Boko Haram, the Nigerian military, or both.
The group also added that the report also included 48 children held in military detention for months or years, as well as 22 adults who had been detained with children