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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

UNSC Overview Nigeria

A country with over 120 languages spoken, three main ethnic groups, and a religious schism between Christians in the south and Muslims in the north has seen thousands of people killed in ethnic clashes over the past few years. Al Jazeera, in 2009, reported on the group Boko Haram (loosely translates to all non-islamic teaching is evil) killing police and hundreds of civilians in the north. In the goal of establishing sharia law throughout the country, Boko Haram is known for widespread killings, rape, burning villages, and more. The government of Nigeria is unable to stop the group or to protect the people who live in areas that are under threat from Boko Haram.

The Nigerian government, where it does operate, is corrupt. 102-page report, "‘Everyone's in on the Game': Corruption and Human Rights Abuses by the Nigeria Police Force," documents the myriad forms of police corruption in Nigeria. It also shows how institutionalized extortion -- a profound lack of political will to reform the force -- and impunity combine to make police corruption a deeply embedded problem.

The US State Department report from 2008 states national police, army, and other security forces committed extrajudicial killings and used lethal and excessive force to apprehend criminals and to disperse demonstrators during the year … On February 25, police killed approximately 50 persons, burned nearly 100 homes, and destroyed more than 150 market stalls in Ogaminana, just outside Okene, Adavi local government area, Kogi State. Credible reports indicate the police attacked the village in reprisal for the reported killing of a colleague by local youths the previous day. There was no formal investigation of the incident … In March 2007 the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture visited the country at the government's invitation to assess reports of official abuse. On the basis of discussions with detainees, visits to prisons and police stations, and forensic medical evidence collected over a one-week period, the rapporteur reported that torture was endemic in law enforcement operations, including police custody, and was often used to extract alleged confessions. According to his report, methods of torture included flogging with whips; beating with batons and machetes; shooting in the foot; threatening a suspect with death and then shooting him with powder cartridges; suspension from the ceiling; and denying food, water, and medical treatment.

Even after the UN had written and published the scathing report of very recent and, to this day, ongoing blatant violations of human rights, absolute and utter disregard for human rights, and a completely corrupt system that is incapable of maintaining its own internal security, Nigeria was voted to sit on the UNSC.

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