A CRITICAL EVALUATION OF THE NATURE OF BOKO HARAM ARMED CONFLICT IN NIGERIA: AN INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL LAW PERSPECTIVE

Celestine. O Ekwueme

Abstract


The Nigerian state has been locked in a brutal hostility with Islamic insurgents over the last five years. The hostility has resulted in the loss of thousands of lives and destruction of properties worth millions of naira. The nature of the conflict has been a matter of debate within the legal circle, International Human Rights bodies, Social Activists and the Nigerian Government, to say the least. For obvious reasons, the Government has continued to reject the idea that the conflict is a non-international armed conflict as projected by the international bodies, jurists and social activists. This paper is an attempt to critically evaluate the nature of the hostility between the Nigerian state and the Boko Haram insurgents. It is the considered view of the writer, among other things, that the conflict has reached the threshold of non-international armed conflict. It also discovers that the hostility has recorded some grave violations of the jus in bello. In this respect therefore, the paper advocates that the International Humanitarian Law should duly apply in the context of the war.

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