Buratai justifies use of force against civilians
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Thursday in Enugu, inadvertently justified the use of force against civilians, when rationalize the option of opening fire on protesters.
The Army chief, who was answering questions from journalists on the alleged killing of unarmed pro- Biafra protesters in Aba, said: “But in situations that entail the use of fire, the protection of human rights does not apply.
“So when you apply the Rules of Engagement and it is necessary to open fire human rights will not apply.”
According to him, the Nigerian Armed Forces had commenced investigations into the alleged extra-judicial killing of unarmed pro-Biafra protesters in Aba, Abia State.
It would be recalled that about 10 members of the Indigenous People of Biafra were reportedly killed when troops opened fire as they were calling for the release of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, in February. About 30 others were said to have sustained serious injuries.
Read also: Gunmen behead one in Rivers community
Buratai, who addressed officers and men of the 82 Division, in Enugu, said the army was investigating the alleged extra-judicials killings.
“We are already investigating it. When such incidents involve the loss of lives we usually conduct an investigation – that is our procedure,” the army chief said.
He however doubted if the soldiers could not have opened fire on the activists without provocation.
He said: “We have our rules of engagement, the troops cannot just open fire.”
According to him, the 1999 Constitution, and the Armed Forces Act, all provided for the use of force when necessary.
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