Nigeria To Probe Armed Forces Abuse Of Human Rights And Violation of Rules Of Engagement


By Abdulmumin Giwa
Following the recent inauguration of Presidential Investigation Panel to review compliance of the Armed forces with human rights obligations and rules of engagement especially in local conflicts and insurgency situations by the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, the Panel has called for memoranda.
This is contained in a statement signed by the Secretary to the Presidential Panel, Halliru Sulaiman who also stated that the panel will hold public hearing in Abuja from 7th September to 6th October 2017.
The terms of reference include among others the investigation of alleged acts of violation of international humanitarian and human rights law under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), Geneva Convention Act, African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act and the relevant laws by Armed Forces in local conflicts and insurgencies.
It also includes the investigation of conduct and discipline in the Armed Forces in local conflicts and insurgencies and also to recommend means of preventing violations of international humanitarian and human right law in conflict situation.
It called on stakeholders, affected persons, institutions and interested members of the public to submit memorandum to the panel within two weeks from the 14th of August 2017.
The Nigerian government has been accused of violating human rights of citizens, extra-judicial killings and genocide as well as disregard to the judiciary through contempt of court by reputable international and local human rights organizations for which the military is engaged in most of such violations.
This has also grossly affected the credibility and integrity of the Nigerian government in the eyes of the international community as some legislators in the United States of America condemned any attempt by the US to sell arms to Nigeria due to its poor human rights records.
The Nigerian government refused to look into the incessant killings of over 1000 Shiites in Zaria by the Nigerian Army in December 2015 and the illegal mass burial of 347 persons in Kaduna following the incident.
The Nigerian government has also refused to issue any statement on the indictment of the Army for violating its rules of engagement by a Judicial Commission of Inquiry (JCI) set up by the Kaduna state government to look into the Zaria incident and all these have affected the human rights image of the Nigerian regime.

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