The Coalition on Conflict Resolution and Human Rights in Nigeria (CCRHRN) has released its report on recent killings in Zamfara state.
The human rights group said accusations of war crimes against troops was mischievous, fallacy and an attempt to dent the image of Nigerian military.
The Coalition said it conducted a preliminary investigation into the anti-bandit protests held by youths in parts of Zamfara state following reports that the rights of citizens might have been violated.
Maxwell Gowon Esq, CCRHRN Executive Director, while presenting the report during the weekend, said findings have shown that the protesters were legitimately expressing their grievances against perceived lack of action against bandits that have been killing people in some parts of the state.
It report further noted that the protests were hijacked in some instances by hoodlums that specifically recruited for that purpose by some political players.
“Property were destroyed and some people injured by the hoodlums. They then tried to shift the blame for this destruction on the responding security agencies that were drafted to the scenes to maintain order.
The military was deployed to contain the situation when the protests became unruly and violent beyond what the Nigerian Police Force and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) could manage.
“The military, with other responding security agencies, managed the protests consistent with the recognized rules of engagement.
“There was no evidence that the military massacred, brutalized or indiscriminately arrested protesters.
“The reports carried by some online sites, which reported large scale extra-judicial killings, were not reflected in the mainstream and legacy organizations. The content of such reports did not stand up to scrutiny and were totally at variance with the accounts given my respondents.”
The report recommended that: “The Federal Government should review existing conflict zones in the country and properly identified the ones that warrant the deployment of military personnel.
“That matters that are deemed as falling within jurisdiction of the Police should be so assigned in order to minimize the distractions to troops from the military being deployed to deal with what the police should is able to deal with in other climes.
“That the Federal Government should urgently investigate the identities of those facilitating the bandits’ attacks. It must also those unmask the identities of those that hijacked the protests.”
source: Dailypost ng