Nigerian Army restates commitment to human rights

Chika Eze,Abuja

The Nigeria Army says it has investigated all allegations of human rights violations brought against it by Amnesty International and all those found culpable have been punished accordingly.

The Chief of Army, Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai disclosed this while playing host to the Amnesty International delegation at the Army Headquarters Abuja.

General  Buratai Said for the past six years, the Nigeria Military had been under all kinds of accusations of gross human rights abuses especially in the war against insurgency in the North East of the country.

The Army Chief said that under his watch, the Nigeria Army had received many criticisms as well as  commendations while carrying out out its constitutional role both within and outside the shores of Nigeria.
“We are well known globally for our conduct in peace keeping operations globally therefore if we can conduct ourselves professionally and guarantee fundamental human rights of citizens globally why should we come here and do otherwise. It does not appeal to any reason”,the Army Chief said.
The head of delegation of the Amnesty International,Mr. Netsanet Belay,
said the situation in which the Nigerian Military operated in the North-east was difficult adding that he also believed that there had been systematic violations of human rights by the military.
“Amnesty is in the business of investigating human rights violations committed by state actors and non state actors. We made it clear to the Chief of Army state that internal military inquiry is the first step but its not sufficient enough so we are still calling on the Nigerian government to carry out thorough independent investigations and inquiry into the serious allegations of human rights violations by the Military,” Netsanet Belay said.
The Amnesty International delegation called for independent investigation into allegations of such abuses.
The Army Chief, Lieutenant General Buratai however informed the rights group  that the Nigerian Army and by extension, the Military had carried out thorough investigations on the said allegations and those found guilty had been punished accordingly.
He assured the international body of the military’s commitment to protecting the rights of citizens.