During the recent revelation by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai in Enugu, that the Nigerian Army are currently investigating the alleged killings of Pro-Biafra protesters at Aba, Abia state on 9th of February, 2016, it is obvious that he had been economical with the real situation on ground and was not been sincere with the public when he mentioned that only 10 pro-Biafra activists lost their lives during the ugly and inhumane attack by his men in uniform.
For clarity purposes, after the unfortunate incident, lifeless bodies, with sustained gun shot wounds of Pro-Biafra protesters were found inside a bush in Aba, just besides the venue they had gathered while scampering for safety when members of the Nigerian army and police opened fire on them.
More than 22 persons were gruesomely murdered on that day, while many others were fatally injured and some believed to have died, taken away by the soldiers to an unknown destination.
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Buratai also went further to say that soldiers could not have opened fire on the activists without been provoked and I ask, what possible provocation could have warranted such brutality on unarmed and defenceless citizens they ought to be protecting? What provocation also could that be which permits the firing of live bullets at peacefully assembled people not disturbing the peace of the state or violating any law?
This time, they were not protesting on the streets, they were only praying and singing when the Nigerian soldiers invaded and started shooting at them. Or is he trying to tell us that praying is now a crime and a provocation? The senseless attack on pro-Biafra agitators was unprovoked and unjustified. The killing of Biafrans was not only a tragedy for Biafrans, but unbeknownst to many; no one was tried or convicted for murder, genocide or war crimes against the people of Biafra, exercising their inherent rights to self-determination.
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The signal was therefore sent that Biafrans can be killed or sent to death in great numbers with impunity. Army's rules of engagement according to the General, permitted the use of force, that ought to be channeled on Boko Haram terrorist group, maiming, killing and destroying citizen's lives and properties. For the past 6 years, Nigeria has been under siege by these terror elements called Boko Haram, yet, the Nigerian army are not been provoked to root them out but will be fast to hunt Biafrans seeking for their independence.
"Why are the Nigerian army shying away from their duties and responsibilities? "Why are they so weak and frightened to face Boko Haram, but are always strong and tactful to violently engage with innocent and unarmed civilians? It is a shame that the Nigerian army are not working within the framework of their so-called rules of engagement, which includes the protection of human rights especially that of innocent citizens. The deliberate widespread of systematic killings of Biafrans by the Buhari-led government is a crime against humanity. Those who commit war crimes against humanity, should be held responsible for their actions.
A fundamental rule of International Humanitarian Law, stipulates that civilians must enjoy general protection against danger arising from military operations. At all times, it is forbidden to direct attacks against civilians while been aware of their civilian status is a war crime, which Nigerian soldiers are guilty of. In addition to that, the principle of civilian immunity has been codified in numerous treaties. 51(2) of Additional Protocol 1 to the Geneva convention states that: "The civilian population, as well as individual civilians, shall not be an object of attack. Acts or threats of violence, the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.
The military crackdown on IPOB seeking for their independence is uncalled for.
We hereby call for the attention of the world, International Organizations, Human Rights, African Union and other related bodies or organizations to checkmate the excesses of the Nigerian President Buhari, his terror group and crimes continuously been committed against the Indigenous People of Biafra.
Written By Anyikwa Kelechi Cynthia.
Edited By Ucheagu Chukwuemeka C
For Biafra Writers.