Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Bombing your own people

Humanitarian issues aside, another question to be answered is who will bear the blame and pay the price for this horrendous mistake. Everyone seems to be loudly proclaiming that it was a terrible accident and "not my fault."

Death Toll in Mistaken Bombing of Camp in Nigeria Climbs to 70
The number of people killed in an accidental military bombing at a Nigerian camp for displaced people has increased to 70, aid groups said on Wednesday, with at least nine of them humanitarian workers. The mistaken attack came after a military plane targeted an area crowded with people fleeing Boko Haram militants.

Medical workers were scrambling on Wednesday to assemble equipment to treat dozens of severely injured people who were still awaiting evacuation from the camp in Rann, in northeastern Nigeria…

In the wake of the bombing, human rights groups were trying to assess how the military could have mistaken such a crowded camp for Boko Haram fighters. A terrorism and counterterrorism researcher for Human Rights Watch circulated on Twitter an aerial view of the encampment dotted with tents and other structures. It is situated near a Nigerian military post…

On Tuesday, [President] Buhari said he regretted the error, and Nigerian military officials also expressed remorse, acknowledging they had targeted the wrong spot.

The governor of Borno State said friendly fire incidents have occurred in wars throughout history. “It is gratifying that nobody made any effort to hide anything or sweep things under carpet,” Gov. Kashim Shettima said…

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