The sixth African Land Forces Summit of chiefs from military forces around the world is scheduled to be in Nigeria next year, in spite of concerns about the Nigerian military's human rights violations, according to a Stars and Stripes report.

"Frankly, it is in our national interest to partner with the Nigerian army in order to assist them as they strive to improve and professionalize, while fighting violent extremist organizations, to be the stable institution that the country and region needs," said Maj. Gen. Joseph Harrington, commander of U.S. Army Africa, which sponsors the summit. 

The annual summit is considered to improve the reputation of nations chosen to co-host the conference. 

But concerns about Nigeria stem from the military's ongoing battle with Boko Haram, a violent Islamist insurgency known for suicide bombings, attacking army and police forces, setting fire to schools and abducting children, according to the Stripes report.

In fighting the insurgency, the Nigerian military has extrajudicially executed more than 1,200 people, carried out innumerable acts of torture and arrested at least 20,000 people arbitrarily, according to a 2015 report by Amnesty International. The attacks constitute war crimes, the report says, for which military commanders are held responsible both on an individual level and a command level.

The choice of Nigeria as co-host at the summit and leading events with other African military leaders is premature, said Sarah Margon of Human Rights Watch in the news report, adding that "they haven't been very effective in dealing with the threat (of Boko Haram) or disciplining their forces." 

Harrington said in response to concerns that "we will absolutely ensure we follow all laws, rules and, frankly, common sense as we engage any of our partners," according to Stars and Stripes.

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