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Military denies rights violations reports

04 June 2015, 07:58Augustine Osayande

Abuja -The military has expressed dismay at allegations a human rights body raised suggesting the armed forces were involved in human rights violations.

This follows a report by Amnesty International alleging more than 8 000 civilians had died at the hands of the military during operations to eliminate the Boko Haram sect.

The military accused Amnesty of blackmailing some senior military officers.

It alleged that the report released by Amnesty International is biased and concocted report.

“It is unfortunate that all effort made in the allegation was geared towards continuation of blackmail against the military hierarchy in which the organisation had embarked upon as far back as the inception of military’s action against terrorist in the North East,” read a statement.

It added that the officers mentioned in the report have no reason, whatsoever, to indulge in the allegation made against them.

“It is unfortunate that the organisation just went out to gather names of specified senior officers, in a calculated attempt to rubbish their reputation as well as the image of the military. The action, no doubt, depicts more of a premeditated indictment aimed at discrediting the country for whatever purpose,” the Defence Headquarters stated.

Also Read: Army reaffirms commitment to safety of media

The military authority said each of the previous allegations had been thoroughly responded to and cleared in the public and officially. The Defence headquarters said the body of the allegation smacks of the extreme bias coming from a reputable organisation that is expected to be just and fair to all.

“It is curious that a body that has never been able to seriously condemn terror in Nigeria now claims to have done an extensive research with the aim of discrediting the nation’s effort at curtailing terror. It is clear that Amnesty International (AI) becomes more active in presenting distractive allegations whenever the terrorists are losing ground in the battle. It is very unfortunate that Amnesty International has used this report to further confirm its questionable interest in the counter-terrorism effort in Nigeria.”

It added that the Nigerian Armed Forces is quite conscious of the fact that the operation has prompted the need to save citizens from abuse of their rights by mindless terrorists.

“The forces have continued to state and restate its commitment to the rights of Nigerians and all its citizens while prosecuting its anti-terrorism campaign. It is very unfortunate that Amnesty International has chosen to ignore all the responses and clarifications provided to its enquires by the authorities.”

The statement from the Defence Headquarters insisted the Nigerian military did not encourage or condone abuse of human rights neither would any proven case be left unpunished.

“The kind of impunity being alleged by Amnesty International has no place in the Nigerian military. Every officer in the field is responsible for his action and is duly held accountable. So far, no allegation has been sufficiently proved against those whom Amnesty International is so desperate to convict.”

- CAJ News


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