Nigeria’s military was on Tuesday, March20, 2018, accused of ignoring repeated warnings about the movements of Boko Haram fighters before they kidnapped 110 schoolgirls in the country’s restive northeast.
Amnesty’s Nigeria director Osa Ojigho said “no lessons appear to have been learned” from Chibok and called for an immediate probe into what she called “inexcusable security lapses”.
“The government’s failure in this incident must be investigated and the findings made public — and it is absolutely crucial that any investigation focuses on the root causes,” she added.
“Why were insufficient troops available? Why was it decided to withdraw troops? What measures have the government taken to protect schools in northeast Nigeria?
– Multiple calls –
Amnesty International said that between 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm on February 19, at least five calls were made to tell the security services that Islamist fighters were in the Dapchi area.
Locals spotted about 50 members of the Islamic State group affiliate in a convoy of nine vehicles in Futchimiram, about 30 kilometres (19 miles) from Dapchi, then at Gumsa.
In Gumsa, where Boko Haram stayed until about 5:00 pm, residents phoned ahead to Dapchi to warn them. The convoy arrived at about 6:30 pm and left about 90 minutes later.
Amnesty, whose researchers spoke to about 23 people and three security officials, said the army command in Geidam had told callers they were aware of the situation and were monitoring.
Police in Dapchi promised to tell divisional commanders, while army commanders in Geidam and Damaturu were also alerted during the attack, it added.
People in Dapchi have previously said troops were withdrawn from the town earlier this year, leaving only a few police officers. The nearest military detachment was an hour away.