The Slatest

Nigeria Sentences 54 of Its Own Soldiers to Death for Refusing to Fight Boko Haram

Nigerian soldiers ready for a patrol in the north of Borno state in June 2013.

Photo by Quentin Leboucher/AFP/Getty Images

Nigeria on Wednesday sentenced 54 of its own soldiers to death for refusing to fight the Islamist group Boko Haram. “The soldiers, who were found guilty of mutiny, were accused of refusing to help recapture three towns that had been seized by Boko Haram in August,” according to the BBC. The convicted soldiers will face a firing squad, according to their lawyer.

“[Nigerian] troops regularly complain that they are outgunned by Boko Haram, they are not paid in full and they are abandoned on the battlefield without enough ammunition or food,” according to the Associated Press. “Twelve soldiers were sentenced to death in September for mutiny and attempted murder of the commanding officer in the counter-insurgency. They blamed him for the deaths of an unknown number of soldiers ambushed and killed after they were ordered to drive at night on a road frequently attacked by the militants.”

“All the soldiers had denied the charges and the sentence is subject to approval by senior officers,” the BBC reports.