Locals alerted the military before Dapchi abduction, says Amnesty

Human rights group, Amnesty International has accused the Nigerian army of ignoring repeated warnings about impending attack by Boko Haram fighters before 110 Dapchi schoolgirls were kidnapped on February 19.

Just like the Chibok schoolgirls abduction nearly four years ago, Amnesty International claims the military was warned about the arrival of the heavily-armed jihadists — yet failed to act.

Most worrying
is that in both cases, the authorities denied claims that there had been no kidnapping.

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?

“And what procedures are supposed to be followed in response to an attempted abduction?”

The NGO says more than 5 calls were made to the security services between 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm on February 19, informing them that Islamist fighters were in the Dapchi area, after locals spotted roughly 50 members of the I.S. affiliated group in a convoy of nine vehicles in Futchimiram, a mere 30 kilometres away from Dapchi.

Amnesty's researchers who spoke to 23 people and three security officials, said the army command in Geidam had told callers they were aware of the situation and were monitoring while the police promised to inform the divisional commander.

The local residents in Dapchi said troops has been withdrawn from the town earlier in the year, with only a few police left.

Despite the government and military repeated announcements that the Boko Haram insurgence is on the brink of defeat after nine years of fighting, the Dapchi abduction and recent bombing in various parts of the northeast region, contradicts those claims.

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