Nigeria’s army responding to allegations of crimes against humanity in Zaria last December with the murder and curial of over 350 minority Shia Muslims in secret to hide the evidence, has denied the allegations by Amnesty international, accusing the organization of being biased.
Nigeria’s Army spokesman Colonel S. K. Usman said according to IBTimes:
“Nothing was mentioned on the rebellious attitude and the violations of human rights by theIMN. Neither did they [Amnesty] bother to ask why the IMN attempted to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff,” Usman continued.
“Amnesty is uncomfortable with the daily reports from Kaduna and has rushed to town with another jaundiced report to divert attention from the proceedings of the committee. Simply because witness accounts seem not to tally with their predetermined conclusion, they hastily churned out [a] highly biased and unsubstantiated report to save face and arrive at their prejudiced conclusion.”
Nigerian army must focus on telling the truth
“The report is not hasty. It has been four months and 10 days,” Donatella Rovera, Amnesty’s senior crisis response adviser, told IBTimes UK. She explained that in addition to the 347 people allegedly killed and whose bodies were dumped in mass graves, another 350 have gone missing.
“They have not been found neither in hospitals, nor in prison, nowhere, and they are feared they have been killed. There are allegations of other mass graves and these families are entitled to have their grievances addressed and the army is not doing that,” she continued.
“We hope the judicial commission of inquiry and the National Human Rights Commission are doing their own investigations with the necessary independence and impartiality. The fact that Amnesty has put in the public record its own findings can only help the work of the various commissions that are investigating.
“By burning bodies in mass graves and destroying places where these people were massacred, the Nigerian army has committed an additional crime. They are really in no place to speak about what is appropriate and what is not. They should focus on coming clean and telling the truth and speeding up the process that can hopefully lead to the families of the victims getting justice and reparation and those responsible be held accountable,” Rovera concluded.