A US-based human rights group, the “Rapid Response Fact-Finding Mission, RRFFM” has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately withdraw troops from the South-east zone of the country.
The group also urged the International Criminal Court, ICC, to investigate alleged cases of human rights abuses meted out to the people.
The calls followed a field investigation conducted by the group in the aftermath of the military invasion of the home of the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu under the “Operation Python Dance II.”
In a statement signed by Emmanuel Ogebe, he said, “The President of Nigeria should stand down the troops in the southeast till their mission scope is clearly defined and clarified and necessary legal benchmarks for deployment are met or better still redeploy them to northern Nigeria where on the Niger side of the border terrorists suspected to be Boko Haram killed 4 American troops last week.
“The President should consult the state governors as chief security officers of their states on the necessity or lack thereof of military deployment.“The military should apologize to and return the seized phone of a journalist. The army should desist from further acts of aggression, intimidation and rights abuses of civilians including continuing attacks on the already destroyed home of Afara Chief Kanu.“The army should identify for court martial its personnel who ransacked and man handled innocent journalists in their press center.
“The army should disclose the true casualties of its operations and provide compensation to the victims while arraigning the perpetrators.“The government of Nigeria should allow the trial of IPOB leader Kanu to continue under the established framework of the legal system instead brute military force.“Failure to do so could force the further metastization into yet another insurgency which Nigeria simply cannot afford on an eastern flank.
“The government should as a matter of urgency provide treatment and compensation to the victims and families in a confidential manner that does not expose them to terrorist-labeling.“The government should close the “governance gap” exemplified by infrastructure deficits at local levels that are deep drivers of discontentment and frustration in an ordinarily industrious and entrepreneurial populace.
“The international community and the Nigerian government should investigate the human rights abuses to ensure justice is done especially as the 50th memorial of the Asaba massacres is marked for which no perpetrators have been brought to book half a century after.“The government should revisit the National Conference report that has encapsulated a lot of the institutional injustices that undermine equity and FairPlay in the Nigerian contraption.
“The International Criminal Court should look into the military abuses in the southeast as part of its ongoing preliminary examination into Nigeria’s security forces.”
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