Army Investigates Killing Of Biafra Protesters In Aba | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Army Investigates Killing Of Biafra Protesters In Aba

Posted: Mar 19, 2016 at 1:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The Nigerian Army is set to probe alleged killing of at least 10 persons when soldiers confronted unarmed pro-Biafra protesters in Aba, Abia State, some weeks back.
Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff, said in Enugu State that the Army has commenced investigations into the incident.
Unofficial reports claim that more than 15 members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) were killed when troops opened fire on demonstrators during the protest calling for the release of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, in February.
The Army has been criticised for “excessive use of force” against unarmed civilians, with Amnesty International condemning the killings and calling for a probe.
Buratai said that the Army was investigating the claims after a tour of the 82 Division, in Enugu.
He said, “We are already investigating it. When such incidents involve the loss of lives, we usually conduct an investigation that is our procedure.
“We have our rules of engagement; the troops cannot just open fire.”
Buratai said the Army’s rules of engagement permitted the use of force, where other measures fail to address a security challenge.
He explained that the 1999 Constitution and the Armed Forces Act provide for the use of force when necessary, but reiterated that: “The alleged incident of killing of MASSOB, IPOB members by the army in Aba will be investigated.
“Since my appointment, we have set out to build a professionally responsible army in the discharge of its constitutional role, which is the result of what we are seeing today.
“We have to ensure that we work within the framework of our rules of engagement.
“We have taken steps to ensure that education within the Army is paramount to ensure that troops operate within the rules of engagement.”
“You know that the rules of engagement provide for the protection of human rights, especially the protection of innocent citizens.
“But in situations that entail the use of fire, the protection of human rights does not apply.
“So, when you apply the rules of engagement and it is necessary to open fire, human rights will not apply.”