Amnesty International say Nigerian military abuses are responsible for the deaths of some 8,000 people in its fight against Boko Haram extremists and names senior officers that should be investigated for alleged war crimes.

A scathing report from the London-based human rights group calls on Nigeria's new government under former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari to urgently investigate the deaths of "8,000 people murdered, starved, suffocated, and tortured to death."

There was no immediate response from the military or Buhari, who was traveling to Niger.

Wednesday's report names three major generals and two brigadier generals and calls for the government to end the impunity that has protected its military.

Amnesty said it interviewed 412 people for the report, including victims, relatives, witnesses and activists as well as doctors and military officials.