The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has asked the Nigerian Government to “compensate victims of the Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDPs) camp in the northeast” who were mistakenly bombed by a military jet, Channels reports.
The attack took place on Tuesday near the border with Cameroon, where the military engaged in what it called its ‘final push against Boko Haram’.
A senior researcher at the HRW in Nigeria, Mausi Segun, said that “prompt, adequate and effective compensation” was needed, even though there was no evidence of a willful attack on the camp.
He added that the victims should not be denied redress merely because the government decided the bombing was accidental.
The military had insisted that the incident did not occur in an IDPs’ camp as reported in some quarters, but a settlement said to be occupied by civilians.
The spokesman for the military, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, who confirmed the incident to Channels Television, admitted that it was an error deeply regretted by the military.
He explained that soldiers got information of movement of Boko Haram members and deployed ground troops and air cover to tackle the terrorists before the unfortunate occurrence took place.
The military has continued clearance operations in the northeast after it sacked Boko Haram members from their Sambisa forest haven.
It had asked residents of the region to be more vigilant, as fleeing Boko Haram members could infiltrate their communities.
President Muhammadu Buhari has dispatched a team to Maiduguri on condolence visit to the victims of the accidental bombing which left many civilians dead and wounded.
The president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, announced this in his twitter handle @FemAdesina.
According to him, the delegation is comprised of the Minister of Information Lai Mohammed, Minister of Defence Dan Ali, the Chief of Staff to the president Abba Kyari and service chiefs.