Twelve Nigerian soldiers sentenced to death for mutiny

Twelve Nigerian soldiers have been found guilty of making death threats against their commanding officers and for the attempted murder of their Division Commander, The Guardian reported on September 16. All of them were sentenced to death by a military court. Five other soldiers were found not guilty and released, and another one will execute 28 days of prison and forced work.[1]

On May 13, a large group of Nigerian soldiers were attacked by the Boko Haram Islamic group, suffering heavy losses. The episode occurred after Nigerian soldiers were ordered to cross at night an area with heavy presence of the terrorist forces, near the North-Eastern city of Chibok. Initially the soldiers refused to obey the order, and later on Islamist forces, better equipped and more determined, attacked Nigerian troops which proved themselves almost worthless. The next day, the corpses of several Nigerian soldiers killed by the Boko Haram fighters were brought to the military camp, and that episode led to an open revolt of the soldiers against their senior officers. The mutineers threateed to kill several officers, and a Major General managed to survive only by means of hiding himself inside an armored fighting vehicle. The mutineers also threw stones at their superiors[2].

According to open sources, the Islamist terrorist group called Boko Haram is more and more succesful; several cities near Nigeria’s border with Cameroon have already been captured, and the radical group also proclaimed an Islamic Caliphate in Northern Nigeria. Led by Abubakar Shekau, the Boko Haram group was, along the past five years, an increasingly massive security threat in all the North-Eastern regions of Nigeria. The group has a long history of killings and kidnappings, and became internationally known after kidnapping 230 students, also in Chibok. The Nigerian army seems to have serious problems in confronting the terrorists, soldiers saying that they are much more poorly armed than Boko Haram members.[3] Nigerian soldiers also say that they are not paid on time, and that they don’t have enough ammunition and food. The entire episode is significant for the low morale level and serious discipline problems in the Nigerian military forces. The lack of military effectiveness of many Nigerian units is strongly resembling the situation we have seen in Iraq, where regular forces could not stop or defeat, for a quite long time, the Islamic State (ISIL) offensive operations.


[1] „Nigerian soldiers fighting Boko Haram sentenced to death for mutiny”, The Guardian, september 16, 2014, accessed at internet address:

[2]  „Nigeria soldiers face death for mutiny”, Aljazeera, september 16, 2014, accessed at internet address

[3] „Twelve Nigerian soldiers sentenced to death for mutiny”, BBC, september 16, 2014, accessed at internet address:

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