70 Bodies Uncovered In Six Mass Graves In Niger

The Nigerian Military has been accused of killing innocent civillians in counter-insurgency operations.

The National Commission on Human Rights in Niger disclosed that it discovered more than 70 bodies in six mass graves in Tillaberi.

The body said the bodies could be remains of dozens of civilians executed by the army.

The killings allegedly happened earlier this year.

Investigators say the civillians were killed with bladed weapons and small arms.

International rights groups have accused the military forces in three countries – Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso – of carrying out dozens of extrajudicial executions during campaigns against terrorists and other armed groups in the Sahel region.

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The commission was investigating allegations that 102 civilians had gone missing in the troubled region between March 27 and April 2 after an army operation.

“There have indeed been executions of unarmed civilians and the mission discovered at least 71 bodies in six mass graves,” Abdoulaye Seydou, the president of the Pan-African Network for Peace, Democracy and Development said. The body took part in the investigation.

“It is elements of the Defence and Security Forces (FDS) who are responsible for these summary and extrajudicial executions,” he added.

According to Seydou, it is not possible to say whether top level officers in the army were involved.

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