Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) is deeply concerned with the Nigerian military air strike on Shokotoko village in Damboa LGA, Borno state, on April 09, 2020, which resulted in numerous civilian casualties. Though the precise numbers of casualties must be confirmed, it is clear that dozens of civilians, mostly women and children, were severely harmed.

CIVIC encourages the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) to quickly initiate their planned investigation into the incident. It is crucial that the investigation is transparent, that its findings are made public, and that it results in concrete recommendations to prevent a similar tragedy from reoccurring. We also urge the government to do everything in its power to ease the suffering of the victims and their families, including immediate in-kind or other support.

The strike on Shokotoko village reaffirms our belief that the FGN must adopt and strengthen effective policies for the protection of civilians, including efforts to mitigate harm to civilians during air operations. CIVIC calls on this process to be fast tracked, as it would enhance relevant security forces’ rules of engagement and operational procedures intended to guarantee the protection of civilians. CIVIC stands ready to offer technical support to help the government improve its methods and processes for mitigating harm to civilians during its operations.

Signed:
Tunde Ojei
Country Director, Center for Civilians in Conflict
Nigeria