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Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Human Rights Violations: The Debates And Calls For Sanctions Against Nigeria

 Human Rights Violations: The Debates And Calls For Sanctions Against Nigeria


The despondency and devastation of an atomic bomb displayed in the closing moments of the Second World War in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, on 6th and 9th August of 1945, essentially decribes the attached outrage of  the ongoing warfare and it's haphazardous effects on the civilians. 


The viciousness of modern warfare has thus prompted States to settle differences through negotiations and peace accords to avoid unnecessary devastation to human life. A foreign policy tool that has been used frequently in recent years is the application of economic sanctions to States that break International laws. Economic sanctions suppress or exclude national economies from participating in the global trade system, where States trade with each other to increase their relative gains.


Sanctions are a common tool for seeking to influence foreign governments and individuals to change their behaviors. The most recent and ongoing economic sanctions are those that have been imposed on Russia by the United States of America and the European Union. The sanctions targeted Russia’s finances, energy and arm sectors which are mostly controlled by President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle on Russia’s alleged proxy war in Ukraine. In 2002, the European Union imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe for electoral fraud and human rights abuses under the watch of President Robert Mugabe. However, the EU has since eased some restrictions of the sanctions but have maintained assets freeze and travel ban for Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace Mugabe for another year.


The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) can take action to maintain or restore international peace and security under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. Sanctions measures under Article 41, encompass a broad range of enforcement options that do not involve the use of force. Since 1966, the Security Council has established 30 sanctions regimes, in Southern Rhodesia, South Africa, the former Yugoslavia (2), Haiti, Iraq (2), Angola, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Eritrea, Eritrea and Ethiopia, Liberia (3), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Côte d’Ivoire, Sudan, Lebanon, Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK), Iran, Libya (2), Guinea-Bissau, Central African Republic (CAR), Yemen, South Sudan and Mali. This also extends  against ISIL (Da'esh) and Al-Qaida and the Taliban.


Security Council sanctions have taken a number of different forms, in pursuit of a variety of goals. The measures have ranged from comprehensive economic and trade sanctions to more targeted measures such as arms embargoes, travel bans and financial or commodity restrictions. The Security Council has applied sanctions to support peaceful transitions, deter non-constitutional changes, constrain terrorism, protect human rights and promote non-proliferation.


Sanctions do not operate, succeed or fail in a vacuum. The measures are most effective at maintaining or restoring international peace and security when applied as part of a comprehensive strategy encompassing peace keeping, peace building and peace making. Contrary to the assumption that sanctions are punitive, many regimes are designed to support governments and regions working towards peaceful transition. The Libyan and Guinea-Bissau sanctions regimes all exemplify this approach.


Today, there are fourteen (14) ongoing sanctions regimes which focus on supporting political settlements of conflicts, nuclear non-proliferation, and counter-terrorism. Each regime is administered by a sanctions committee chaired by a non-permanent member of the Security Council. The records of human right abuses in Nigeria by the government, top Nigeria politicians, the military etcetera, are uncountable but it seems overlooked by international organizations. #EndSARS protest has implicated them and made the international community to look into it. The Amnesty International has litanies of human right abuses by the Nigerian government and her politicians with no actions taken against perpetrators.


As United Nation Security Council debates on the sanctions against federal government of Nigeria over the killing of unarmed #ENDSARS protesters at Lekki toll gate, Lagos, I also urge you to still look at different human abuses that President Buhari and his government have committed since assuming the office in 2015. That includes the killing of IPOB family members, Obigbo massacre, illegal detention of IPOB leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the Shiite Leader, El Zazakay, Olisa Metuh and more other people languishing in various Nigerian prisons. They threaten, kill and imprison the journalists for carrying our their duties. As you do this, may God bless you for your Good work to humanity.


Written by Obulose Chidiebere


Edited by Elemeghideonye Nnamdi Stephen

For Family Writers Press International

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