Home Metro Killed soldiers: RULAAC appeals to Nigerian Army against reprisal on communities, condemns killing security officers 
Metro - 2 weeks ago

Killed soldiers: RULAAC appeals to Nigerian Army against reprisal on communities, condemns killing security officers 

Stanley Ihedigbo

One of the leading human rights groups in Nigeria, Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), has appealed to the Nigerian Army against reprisals on communities, saying, a repeat of the sad events of the days of President Olusegun Obasanjo (1999-2007) when the military destroyed communities in Odi and Zaki Biam for killing soldiers must be avoided.

In a statement made available to The Mirror, Executive Director, RULAAC, Com. Okechukwu Nwanguma, said: “RULAAC condemns the barbaric decapitation and disembowelment of the killed soldiers by the killers. RULAAC welcomes the resolve of the military authorities to investigate and bring the culprits to book.

“Delta State government must, as well, go beyond condemnation of this tragedy and ensure a thorough investigation of the root causes of the communal dispute and clashes that necessitated military intervention and unfortunately culminated in the ambush and deadly attacks and killing of the soldiers.

“All the perpetrators, and others directly or remotely linked to the crisis that resulted in the dastardly killing of the soldiers must be arrested, investigated, and if found culpable, tried by the law. They must be made to bear the full weight of the law if convicted.

“We recall that after the military’s violent reprisal attack on the town of Odi in Bayelsa State in November 1999, the community took legal action against the Nigerian government.

He further said: “They sued the federal government for the destruction of their homes, properties, and the loss of their lives in the attack.

“In June 2013, the court awarded a monetary compensation of N37.6 billion (about USD 98 million) to the people of Odi for the damages done by the military during the attack.

“However, the government of Nigeria under President Olusegun Obasanjo, refused to pay the compensation to the community and appealed the judgment. The case remained in legal limbo for years, with the government not paying the compensation, despite several court orders.

“It is unclear if the people of Odi have received the monetary compensation awarded them by the Federal High Court. Innocent civilians and their properties must at all times be protected. They must never be made to suffer for the atrocities of a few deviants in the community. Military reprisals that result in the killing of civilians are not an acceptable practice under the rules of engagement,” he stressed.

“The rules of engagement are designed to ensure that military operations are conducted in a manner that upholds human rights principles and respects the lives and dignity of all individuals. Military reprisals are often regarded as an act of revenge, which brings into question the legality of the action.

“The use of force must always be proportional and limited to what is necessary to achieve a legitimate military objective. The indiscriminate use of force that results in the killing of civilians is a violation of international humanitarian law and human rights law.

“Therefore, it is important for the military to ensure that it does not descend to the level of criminals. It must ensure that its operations are conducted in compliance with the rules of engagement, which require that the use of force be proportional, necessary, and discriminatory. The military must uphold its duty to protect civilians, and not take part in acts of reprisal or any other form of violence against innocent civilians,’’ he stated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Alleged $4.5bn, N2.8bn fraud: EFCC presents first witness against Emefiele, one other 

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, on Friday, April 12, 2024, presented its fi…