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Military To Investigate Alleged Human Rights Violation

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The Defence Headquarters has denied claims by Amnesty International in a report released on Monday that Nigerian security forces were involved in the extra judicial killing of  scores of people, mainly civilians in the North east.

The report alleged the Nigerian troops and Boko Haram insurgents had killed more than 1,500 persons in reprisal attacks in the first quarter of this year.

In spite of the denial, the Army said security authorities will ensure that the allegations are duly investigated, with a view to taking necessary action to address any case of human right breach on the part of troops.

In the report titled: “Nigeria: More than 1,500 killed in Armed Conflict in North-Eastern Nigeria in early 2014”, the organisation said the escalation of violence in Northeast this year has developed into a situation of  armed conflict in which all parties are violating international humanitarian law.

Spokesman for the Army, Chris Olukolade, a major general, said the report is not consistent with the actual situation on ground, as measures have been put in place to ensure compliance with tenets of human right and rules of engagement by troops involved in the conduct of the mission.

Olukolade explained in a statement that apart from inculcating the necessity for observance of human rights in troops,  regular programmes have been conducted to review the human rights situation related to the conduct of the operations.

“This report is a new dimension to the well-known fact that the security operation in that part of the country was necessitated by the need to address the gross abuse of human rights being perpetrated against Nigerians by the terrorists,” he stated.

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He said the claim contained in the Amnesty International report attributing gross abuses of human right of Nigerians to both the terrorists and the security forces is therefore ‘confounding’.

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