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Let us deal with Boko Haram

16 August 2013

ICC

"Not needed": the International Criminal Court, in The Hague

"Not needed": the International Criminal Court, in The Hague

THE Primate of Nigeria, the Most Revd Nicholas Okoh, has said that Nigeria does not need the international community to "interfere" in the prosecution of members of the Islamist group Boko Haram.

Archbishop Okoh made the comments after the publication, on Monday of last week, of a report by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda. It said that, since July 2009, Boko Haram had "launched a widespread and systematic attack that has resulted in the killing of more than 1200 Christian and Muslim civilians in different locations throughout Nigeria." It stated that "the scale and intensity of the attacks have increased over time," and that "crimes against humanity" had been committed.

The report went on to say that the Prosecutor would be "assessing whether the national authorities are conducting genuine proceedings in relation to those who appear to bear the greatest responsibility for such crimes".

Speaking to reporters in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, on Wednesday of last week, Archbishop Okoh said: "I have always advocated that Nigeria has the necessary instruments to punish members of the Boko Haram sect whenever it desires to do so. We do not need anybody, anywhere, to prosecute criminals in Nigeria; we have the necessary laws to punish them. Nigeria should not allow the international community to interfere in the prosecution of Boko Haram members."

On Sunday, 30 people returning from Muslim morning prayers were killed by gunmen in the town of Konduga, in north-east Nigeria. Reports suggest that the gunmen were members of Boko Haram.

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