HURIWA tasks Army on human rights respect in Southern Nigeria
Rights group, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has called on the military high command to abide by rules of engagement, respect for Human Rights of civilians and adherence to the principles of Rule of law in their military exercise in southern Nigeria.
The call, HURIWA said, followed reports that the Nigerian Army has launched multiple military exercises covering Southern Nigeria aimed at checking the excessive cases of attacks targeting strategic national security institutions/ personnel and the killing of civilians by unknown gunmen, and crimes.
HURIWA through a statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Adviser Miss. Zainab Yusuf, asked the military not to apply excessive use of brute force or to torture innocent people in the South East of Nigeria just as it reminded the Nigerian Army that all eyes are watching them and they will be subjected to international legal reprimand should they abuse human rights.
It also tasked the South East governors to hire private forensic investigators to ascertain the members of the state carrying out attacks on strategic national security institutions and operatives and the sporadic but well coordinated assassinations of Igbo citizens.
HURIWA restated her position that IPOB is not behind the spate of violence in the South East, since the majority of the victims are the finest crop of Igbo people just as the group suspected that some key officials of the federal government may be funding the violence.
The group further reminded the military of their legal obligations in all internal military operations thus: “Nigerian Armed Forces when deployed for either internal or external operations, are bound by the laws of war and international law in the conduct of the operations. The laws regulate and limit the conduct of operations by acting as checks against arbitrary use of force.
HURIWA expressed surprise that in the past few months many innocent Igbo youths have been killed, arrested, incarcerated and tortured by the security forces under the guise that all Igbo youths are members of IPOB.
According to the rights group, even members of IPOB or ESN are entitled to the full protection of the law and therefore must never be killed extralegally by the armed forces of Nigeria, which is an institution created by the Grund Norm.
The Rights group further asked the military not to apply excessive use of brute force or to torture innocent people in the South East of Nigeria just as it reminded the Nigerian Army that all eyes are watching them and they will be subjected to international legal reprimand should they abuse human rights.