Group Demands Probe Of Alleged Secret Burial Of Missing Soldiers

Nigerian-Troops

A non-governmental organisation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has called on the army authorities to investigate the alleged secret burial of 105 soldiers.

Premium Times had exclusively reported two weeks ago that 105 soldiers were missing following an attack on 157 Battalion at Gudumbali in Borno State by Boko Haram.

Last week media reports also alleged that military authorities in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State, quietly buried soldiers believed to be the reportedly missing men.

Consequently, HURIWA is calling for an independent inquiry in order to verify the authenticity of the allegation.

In a statement signed by the national coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the national media affairs director, Zainab Yusuf, the group wants members of the investigative panel to be drawn from the United Nations, African Union, ECOWAS, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, National Human Rights Commission, Red Cross, Red Crescent, the military and faith based organisations.

Following Premium Times’ report, the Nigerian Army vehemently refuted that any soldier was missing. It described the report as the work of a Boko Haram sympathiser, adding that not even a bullet wound was sustained by any of its men.

It said while there was an attack on the soldiers, it was successfully repelled.

“The Theatre Command wants to state clearly that the story is a fabrication from the imagination of those sympathetic to Boko Haram ways of life,” the army said through its spokesperson, Sani Usman, a Colonel.






     

     

    Barely 24 hours after the denial, the army contradicted itself by announcing that soldiers, which it had claimed were not missing, had been reunited with their colleagues.

    “Nigerian troops operating in the Northern Borno State towns of Gudumbali and Kareto had slight setback within the week. However, the situation is being stabilized,” the army spokesman said in another statement.

    “The troops have re-joined their units for further action… The incidence was just a minor setback, which is common in military operations.”

    Pictures of dead soldiers in military gear alleged to be the remains of the 105 soldiers before their burial have surfaced on social media but there has been no verification of the images.

     

     

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