Nigeria: Officials accuse Pro-Biafra militants of the murder of pregnant woman, four children

A series of killings in southeast Nigeria blamed on a well-known Biafran secessionist group has caused outrage in the area and added another type of insecurity in the country, where abductions for ransom are very ordinary in the north-west, and an Islamist insurgency has been continuing for over a decade in the north-east.

A series of killings in southeast Nigeria blamed on a well-known Biafran secessionist group has caused outrage in the area and added another type of insecurity in the country, where abductions for ransom are very ordinary in the north-west, and an Islamist insurgency has been continuing for over a decade in the north-east.

Last week, in an incident, a pregnant mother with her four kids was killed brutally while travelling home from visiting relatives on a motorcycle taxi. Around seven others were killed in Anambra state last Sunday, a day after the severed body of a kidnapped lawmaker and his assistant were found.

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The southeast of Nigeria is the hometown of the Igbo ethnic group, who are protesting to get separated from the rest of Nigeria.

Police stated that militants related to the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob), a well-known Biafran secessionist organisation described as a terror group by Nigeria’s government, are behind these attacks. Ipob states that it wants to get independence via non-violent means.

Igbo separatists made an attempt to break away from the Republic of Biafra earlier in 1967 that initiated a civil war that lasted for three years in which over a million people were killed.

Last August, Amnesty International stated that Nigerian security forces had killed over 115 individuals in the southeast during the first eight months of the previous year and arbitrarily abducted or tortured others.

In turn, Pro-Biafra militants killed groups of government officials and security, as well as civilians, during armed operations that have become more regular and daring.

They also executed mass jailbreaks in which they freed several prisoners and implemented “stay at home” orders.

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Nnamdi Kanu, a British-Nigerian citizen, Ipob’s leader, is detained and on trial on charges of terrorism and incitement. His family say he was kidnapped from Kenya in the act of extraordinary rendition to meet charges in Nigeria.

Ipob demanded the release of Kanu and other captured members. The governor of Anambra state visited Kanu while in detention earlier this month for a meeting to search for peace and security in the southeast while stressing the influence that local officials think he exerts in the ongoing crisis.

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