Global rights group, Amnesty International, described the ICC probe of the Nigerian Armed Forces as a welcome development.
In a statement titled, ‘ICC: Milestone decision paves the way for full investigation into atrocities in Nigeria’, AI’s Director of Research and Advocacy, Netsanet Belay, said, “The ICC must immediately open a full investigation into atrocities committed during the conflict in North-East Nigeria.”
Belay said: “After years of calling on the ICC Prosecutor to open a full investigation, this is the first meaningful step towards justice that we have seen for victims of atrocious crimes committed by all parties to the conflict in North-East Nigeria.
“This is an important milestone, but it must be followed with immediate action to open a full investigation. For the victims of war crimes and potential crimes against humanity to see justice, it’s crucial for the prosecutor to swiftly begin an effective and well-resourced investigation.”
Belay said victims had been waiting for justice for over a decade.
“The Office of the Prosecutor must now move swiftly to seek the judicial authority needed to initiate the full investigation; further delays will only serve to frustrate victims and run the risk of evidence and witness testimony being lost forever,” said Belay.