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To the Nigerian federal government and Kaduna state government

  • Identify and bring to justice those responsible for organizing or encouraging the violence in Kaduna in November 2002, as well as those who carried out the killings. The authorities should not allow political considerations to influence decisions about prosecutions and should recognize that prolonged delays in delivering justice for the violence are likely to result in a further build-up of tension, which could lead to further clashes.
  • Launch thorough, prompt and impartial investigations into the conduct of the security forces during the events of November 2002, in particular into allegations of widespread human rights violations by the police and the military, and make public the results of these investigations. Ensure that these investigations conform with the U.N. Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions.
  • In particular, ensure that individual members of the police and military reported to have committed extrajudicial killings are immediately suspended from active duty, and, if found responsible, are charged and tried promptly, in trials meeting international due process standards. The families of the victims should be kept informed of the progress of investigations and judicial action against those responsible.
  • Provide compensation to the families of those killed or injured by members of the security forces.
  • Issue clear instructions to the police and the military that operations to restore law and order in a situation of rioting should never be a justification for unlawful attacks on persons, such as to settle scores. The security forces should make every effort to arrest individuals suspected of criminal activity without resorting to lethal force. Members of the security forces should abide by the U.N. Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and the U.N. Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials at all times. Senior military and police officials should ensure that all their members are trained in these standards and should monitor their practical application.
  • Review planning and coordination arrangements among the different security agencies to ensure that in the event of any future outbreak of inter-communal violence, the security forces can be deployed promptly, in a coordinated manner, to protect the lives of all citizens, in accordance with their obligations under international human rights law.
  • Intensify and encourage conflict resolution initiatives and other measures aimed at preventing further inter-communal violence, including by supporting grassroots initiatives to foster dialogue and cooperation between Muslim and Christian communities and to raise awareness among the local communities of the need to respect fundamental rights, including the right to life, and religious and ethnic differences. Government officials should work closely with Muslim and Christian community leaders, particularly at state and local levels, both in the short-term and the long-term, to find ways of securing lasting peace in Kaduna.
  • Seek solutions to the tensions in Kaduna not only in the context of the latest violence, but taking into account the recurring violence in previous years and the findings of investigations and studies into the 2000 clashes. Special efforts should be made to listen to the concerns, grievances and suggestions of the various communities affected by the conflicts.
  • Provide compensation to individuals whose houses or livelihoods were destroyed during the rioting. Ensure that those still displaced by the violence have the necessary practical support and security to return to their homes or to resettle in new homes if insecurity persists.
  • Make public the reports of judicial commissions of inquiry into previous outbreaks of violence in Kaduna State and implement their recommendations and those contained in the corresponding white papers, as appropriate. The government’s failure to implement the recommendations of commissions of inquiry has devalued the work of these commissions and undermined their importance as a mechanism for leading to justice.

To foreign governments and intergovernmental organizations

  • Urge the Nigerian government to investigate reports of extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations committed by the security forces in Kaduna in November 2002 and to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.
  • Remind the Nigerian government of its international obligations to prevent extrajudicial executions and urge government, police and military authorities to ensure that the conduct of the security forces conforms at all times with internationally recognized principles for law enforcement.
  • Foreign governments providing assistance to the Nigerian police or military should ensure that human rights standards, including the Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, are not only taught in training programs, but their practical application regularly monitored. Cases of abuse or disregard of these standards should be promptly raised with the relevant authorities, who should be urged to take appropriate disciplinary or judicial action against the individuals responsible.
  • Urge Nigerian government and security force officials to ensure that members of the security forces deployed to quell violence in any future incidents of unrest refrain from excessive use of force or carrying out extrajudicial executions and other human rights violations.

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July 2003