Dateline, Tuesday, 26 August at 9.30pm on SBS ONE
The kidnap of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls by hard line Islamists, Boko Haram, shocked the world and focused new attention on the extremist group.
While the hunt for Boko Haram is being carried out by the Nigerian army and a civilian militia, Evan Williams has obtained graphic phone video evidence and numerous eyewitness testimonies which suggest that Nigerian forces engaged in fighting the Islamists may be guilty of war crimes.
The material obtained by Williams shows the alleged Nigerian army and the militia rounding up suspects, beating them for confessions and even slitting the throats of detainees. Civilians now live in fear of the very people who are supposed to protect them.
When shown video of atrocities allegedly being committed by the army, international human rights lawyer Mark Ellis says, “It’s quite apparent the military is doing this and that would be absolutely a war crime.”
While Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, has hailed the militia, named the Civilian Joint Taskforce, as “new national heroes,” their tactics may even be strengthening the insurgency.
One school teacher tells Evan Williams that in response to the militia killing villagers and burning their homes, Boko Haram is “increasing day in and day out.”
Tune into Dateline, Tuesday, 26 August at 9.30pm on SBS ONE to see the full story.