Older people are the worst hit in the conflict between the Federal Government and Boko Haram fighters in the northeast.
This was revealed by Amnesty International in a 67-page report published yesterday. The report entitled: “My heart is in pain”: Older people’s experience of conflict, displacement, and detention in Northeast Nigeria’, said older people have suffered in unique ways from the conflict that has raged for almost a decade in Northeast Nigeria, with many starved or slaughtered in their homes or left to languish and die in squalid, unlawful military detention.
Amnesty International said for this report, it carried out field and remote research between November 2019 and October 2020, and interviewed 62 older women and 71 older men affected by the conflict.
It also interviewed representatives of international and local humanitarian organisations operating in Northeast Nigeria, as well as witnesses to atrocities against older people, hospital staff, and prison staff in a facility where people are detained amid the conflict.
Joanne Mariner, Director of Crisis Response at Amnesty International said: “When Boko Haram has invaded towns and villages, older men and women have often been among the last to flee, leaving them particularly exposed to the armed group’s brutality and repression, amounting to war crimes and likely crimes against humanity. This has included torture, being forced to witness killings and abductions of their children, as well as looting resulting in extreme food insecurity.”