A Nigerian human rights group has condemned the army’s use of “excessive force” and alleged extrajudicial killings, particularly in the southern regions of the country.
Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) called on the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa, to take concrete steps to instil professional discipline throughout the armed forces.
The group said that for over two decades, there has been a lack of accountability for large-scale arson attacks on southern communities, often in retaliation for attacks on soldiers by terrorists and criminal elements.
HURIWA said that the Nigerian Army and all other armed forces must be subjected to the severest legal sanctions when they deviate from the principles of professional conduct and human rights.
The group called on Gen. Musa to:
- Conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into all reported cases of extrajudicial killings and violence by the armed forces in the southern regions.
- Ensure that those responsible for such violations of human rights face appropriate legal consequences, regardless of their rank or position.
- Implement comprehensive training and awareness programs within the armed forces to reinforce the importance of adhering to rules of engagement and respecting human rights.
- Establish clear mechanisms for civilian oversight and accountability to prevent future abuses.
HURIWA said that it is committed to advocating for the protection of human rights and justice for all Nigerians. The group said that it stands with the affected communities in the southern regions and will continue to press for meaningful change until the principles of professional discipline and respect for human rights are upheld by the Nigerian Army and other armed forces.