By Kingsley Omonobi
Abuja— AMnesty International yesterday disclosed that despite the giant strides made by the Nigerian Army and the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure protection of human rights, there were strong evidences that indicate the systematic violation of human rights and international humanitarian laws by the Nigerian military in its operations.
According to the Director, Research and Advocacy of Amnesty International, Mr. Nathanet Bilay who led a delegation to Army headquarters, “Amnesty International has been documenting for several years 60 forms of violations of human rights and international humanitarian laws in Nigeria.
Addressing senior officers, including the COAS, Mr. Bilay said: “The report is a product of years of research.
“We have travelled to the North East, various destinations, we interviewed victims, detainees, military sources as well and our findings suggested that there was, indeed, a serious concern by our respondents.
“We have published two reports; one of them bothers on the serious crimes committed by the armed group, called Boko Haram. We have come here with a positive spirit, we have been pleased with President Buhari’s comments that respect for human rights would be at the center of the military’s operations in his administration.”
However, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, in his response, said: “Though the world over, the role of the military is to safeguard human life; wars are fought physically not to kill human beings, wars are fought for influence but along the line since human beings are involved, rules and regulations come to play.
“As uniform men, we are not only conscious of military laws, we are also conscious of civil laws.”