Balancing National Security and Human Rights in the Fight Against Boko Haram in Nigeria
The emergence of extreme Islamic ideology and terrorist groups anywhere often evokes a pretext for validating the aggressive pursuit of public order and national security, even if at the expense of human rights. In particular, the activities of several Islamic extremist groups especially the deadly terror group—Boko Haram—operating in North-eastern Nigeria, have elicited brutal and, sometimes, deadly reprisals from Nigeria’s security forces. This chapter examines the place of human rights in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria, and the ideal approach of security forces in this regard. Given the complexities associated with the war on terror, this chapter sought to utilise the unique context provided by Nigeria’s counter-terrorism efforts in confronting the dilemma in balancing between national security and human rights.
LLD Candidate & DAAD Scholar, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa. This chapter was developed from a paper submitted for a postgraduate diploma received from the Institute for Human Rights, Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland in 2017. Due acknowledgment is, therefore, given to the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs which sponsored the author’s participation in the Intensive Course on Contemporary Challenges to International Human Rights Law in Finland.
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