The Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) Court of Justice has ordered Nigeria to pay 88 billion naira ($288 million) to victims of the 1967 civil war for failure to fully de-mine and clear the land of other weaponry after the end of hostilities, Reuters has reported.

The ruling calls on the government to pay 50 billion naira ($1 = 305.3000 naira) or nearly R2 billion, directly to war victims in 11 states and put 38 billion naira toward de-mining and the construction of schools, courts, churches and mosques in the affected areas.

An Ecowas judge ruled that large quantities of unexploded ordnance had deprived farming communities of farmland since the end of Nigeria’s civil war, which began in 1967 and ended 1970 over the short-lived Republic of Biafra and killed a million people.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has made no comment over the ruling which is not binding and sovereign states are not forced to respect the court’s ruling.

-      African News Agency (ANA)