Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:39AM
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (C) arrives at the Waterkloof military air base in Pretoria on June 12, 2015 for the 25th AU Summit held in Johannesburg. (AFP)
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (C) arrives at the Waterkloof military air base in Pretoria on June 12, 2015 for the 25th AU Summit held in Johannesburg. (AFP)

Nigerians have reacted furiously to Amnesty International's recent denunciation of their army, asking whether the human rights organization is "on the side of the terrorists." What should Nigerians make of President Buhari's response and what now for the fight against Boko Haram?

It's considered to be one of Africa's best armies - responsible for peacekeeping and peacemaking all over the continent. But Nigeria's military has been embarrassed by its failure to decisively deal with Boko Haram during the insurgents' six-year campaign of terror.

Now, just weeks after General Buhari was sworn in, promising to lead them to victory over Boko, Amnesty International has accused his soldiers of killing more than 8000 people. Its report: Stars on their Shoulders, Blood on their Hands" goes further than previous reports, providing what it calls "incontrovertible evidence (including from military documents) of the horrifying scale and depravity of war crimes committed by the military", and claims to show that "commanders either sanctioned the abuses or ignored the fact that they were taking place."

Amnesty has taken the unusual step of naming nine senior soldiers it says should be investigated for alleged war crimes.

In his inauguration speech the new president promised an investigation into the allegations, but he also claimed he would bring back security to Nigeria.

And after another week of suicide bombings and beheadings, many Nigerians are wondering whether he will be fighting Boko with one hand behind his back - and they're asking whose side Amnesty is on.