Python Dance II: Rights Commission Warns Army To Respect Rules Of Engagement

SAN FRANCISCO, September 13, (THEWILL) – The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, has expressed concern over the alleged invasion of parts of the South-East and South-South by the Nigerian military, stating that it will collaborate with the Nigeria Police and relevant authorities to ensure timely and thorough investigation of the allegation.

This was as it worried over media reports on allegations by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, Abia state chapter, that Nigerian soldiers on Operation Python Dance II, attacked them, “amidst other claims of human rights violations”.

The commission stated that the alleged invasion would be investigated with a view to ensuring that informed decisions are made and appropriate steps taken to have the culprits punished and victims redressed in accordance with the law.

The NHRC Acting Executive Secretary, Mrs. Oti Ovrawah, in a statement issued on Wednesday, warned security agencies, particularly the military, “to desist from acts capable of causing tension, public disturbance, fear and sense of insecurity”.

It cautioned the Nigerian Army to respect their rules of engagement in the exercise, advising that instead of heightening the fear of insecurity, it should “rather ensure the respect of the fundamental rights of all citizens”.

The statement signed by the head of media at the NHRC, Mrs. Fatima Mohammed assured Nigerians that “the Commission will collaborate with the Nigerian Police and other relevant authorities to ensure a timely and thorough investigation into the allegations with a view to ensuring that informed decisions are made and appropriate steps taken to have culprits punished and victims redressed in accordance with the law”.

Meanwhile, the NHRC commended the government of Abia state for steps so far taken to remove fear and forestall further breakdown of law and order saying that it is important to reinforce people’s confidence in the ability of the government to protect them without violation of their rights.

Ovrawah also called on the Nigerian military to leverage on the series of training the Commission has offered them on mainstreaming human rights into their operations, especially with the emerging human rights challenges.

She added that, “the military are expected to carry out their duties according to international best practices”.

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