UN special adviser on the prevention of genocide, Alice Nderitu, sent out a message to Nigerian authorities.
She urged the Nigerian authorities to conduct counter-terrorism operations in line with international human rights and humanitarian law.
Nderitu, who spoke on Thursday, expressed concern over the worsening security situation in Nigeria, urging authorities to address the situation.
She condemned the airstrike that occurred in Nasarawa state and said the federal government should look into the killings.
“These dynamics of targeting communities along identity lines, if unaddressed, risk further fuelling intercommunal tensions, recruitment by armed groups, and retaliatory attacks, with obvious impact on civilians,” she said.
“In this extremely volatile environment, it is important that the general elections scheduled to be held on 25 February 2023 do not trigger violence and even atrocity crimes,” she said.
She said the worsening security situation is characterised by the seasonal movement of livestock for grazing, and increasing divisions among communities, based on stigmatisation along religious and ethnic lines.
Nderitu also expressed concern over the increasing trends of hate speech along identity lines, and incitement to discrimination, hostility, or violence that has permeated political discourse in the country.
She asked all political leaders to abide by a peace accord they signed that included a commitment to peaceful campaigns.
She encouraged religious and traditional leaders to work to appease tensions, prevent incitement to violence and address the risk of crimes ahead of the elections and beyond.