Islamist militant group Boko Haram has killed at least 381 civilians in Cameroon and Nigeria over the last five months, according to Amnesty International.
The shocking number of killings Boko Haram has carried out since April is more than twice the figure for the five previous months, which Amnesty International attributes to the terrorist group’s increased use of suicide bombers.
In particular, Boko Haram’s use of female suicide bombers has been on the rise.
"Almost immediately after the Chibok kidnappings … Boko Haram's use of women suicide bombers skyrocketed," Jason Warner, assistant professor at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, the United States' elite military academy told CNN.
One study of Boko Haram’s attacks and strategies argues that the group was encouraged to use more girls and women as suicide bombers by the international attention it received after its 2014 mass kidnapping of girls in Chibok.
“Boko Haram is once again committing war crimes on a huge scale, exemplified by the depravity of forcing young girls to carry explosives with the sole intention of killing as many people as they possibly can,” Amnesty International’s Director for West and Central Africa Alioune Tine said.
Boko Haram resurgence kills 381 civilians since April: Amnesty https://t.co/b12wOXDYsT— Reuters World (@ReutersWorld) September 5, 2017
Global Citizen campaigns for gender equality, for the safety and equal treatment of girls around the world. You can take action here.
Amnesty International called on the governments of Nigeria and Cameroon to take action to protect those in the Lake Chad area, where millions of people have been affected by Boko Haram’s many years of violence.
Since Boko Haram’s insurgency began in 2009, more than 20,000 people have died, according to the Huffington Post. In the Lake Chad region, 2.3 million people have been displaced by the fighting and many millions more are suffering through food insecurity, according to Amnesty International.