Between Boko Haram and the Joint Task Force: Assessing the Dilemma of Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights in Northern Nigeria

Between Boko Haram and the Joint Task Force: Assessing the Dilemma of Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights in Northern Nigeria

Author: 
Sampson, Isaac Terwase
Publisher: 
Cambridge University Press
Date published: 
2015
Record type: 
Journal Title: 
Journal of African Law
Source: 
Journal of African Law Vol. 59, No. 1, April 2015, pp. 25-63
Abstract: 

This article seeks to examine the paradox of Boko Haram terrorism and Nigeria's counter-terrorism efforts, personified by the Joint Task Force (JTF). While posing the challenge of human rights abuses by the JTF in its counter-Boko Haram operations, the article contends that, whereas the terrorists' activities violate the rights of victims, the JTF's actions have also resulted in significant human rights abuses against innocent civilians. It argues that, despite Nigeria's obligations under the plenitude of international human rights treaties, non-domestication of these treaties by Nigeria has rendered them insignificant. The article therefore recommends alternative approaches to this challenge. Nigeria should domesticate the catalogue of international human rights instruments to which it has acceded, enact rules of engagement for law enforcement operations by security forces, develop a counter-terrorism strategy that is subject to robust engagement with all stakeholders, and strengthen its existing human rights accountability mechanisms, such as the law courts, legislature and National Human Rights Commission.

Language: 
Country focus: 

CITATION: Sampson, Isaac Terwase. Between Boko Haram and the Joint Task Force: Assessing the Dilemma of Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights in Northern Nigeria . : Cambridge University Press , 2015. Journal of African Law Vol. 59, No. 1, April 2015, pp. 25-63 - Available at: http://library.au.int/between-boko-haram-and-joint-task-force-assessing-dilemma-counter-terrorism-and-human-rights-5