More than 20,000 protesters demand the CJTF Militia be banned in Maiduguri, Nigeria

Protesters in Maiduguri blocking the road and standing by a burning tire while demanding the end of the CJTF militia on 30 June 2019 Protesters in Maiduguri blocking the road and standing by a burning tire while demanding the end of the CJTF militia on 30 June 2019 © AUDU MARTE | AFP

1 July 2019

More than 20,000 Nigeria demonstrators protest against the anti-Boko Haram militia after a militia member killed a rickshaw driver.

On Sunday 30 June, more than 20,000 protesters took part in a demonstration against the anti-Boko Haram Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) in response to one militia killing a rickshaw driver only hours before the protest.

Despite pleas from the police and military, the protesters blocked major roads and set fires in the streets and set fires in the northern city of Maiduguri, an AFP reporter recalled.

The militia who killed the driver is under investigation, although the head of the CJTF in the Suleimanti area, Babakura Abba-Ali said, "The driver's refusal to stop [at the checkpoint] raised the suspicion of our men and one of them took him down, because they believed he was a  Boko Haram terrorist on a mission.”

In response to the civilian attacks from the jihadist group, Boko Haram, the CJTF formed in 2013 as a vigilante group. Young men and women in the vigilante group organised and killed known Boko Haram members, forcing the jihadists to leave the city. The vigilantes later grew into a militia force and teamed with the military in order to fight Boko Haram. According to AFP, “the decade-long Boko Haram conflict has killed at least 27,000 people and forced some two million to flee their homes in Nigeria alone.”

Although the militia was meant to keep Maiduguri safe from Boko Haram, they are hurting civilians. One resident of Suleimanti, Bukar Saleh, said, “We want the CJTF to be banned from the city because of the abuses we suffer in their hands..They have become a law unto themselves and are treating us badly. And now they have started killing us.”

 

To learn more, visit:

https://www.nation.co.ke/news/africa/Nigeria-protesters-demand-end-to-anti-Boko-Haram-militia/1066-5178182-xky7tz/index.html

https://civiliansinconflict.org/blog/cjtf/

 

Author: Giulia DeLuca; Editor: Aleksandra Krol

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