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May 20, 2024

IBN calls for justice over displaced Igbo communities

IBN calls for justice over displaced Igbo communities

By Chinonso Alozie

The Igbo-Biafra Nationalists Movement, IBN, on Monday called for justice over the displaced Igbo communities from the South East region.

The convener of the IBN, Mazi Uche Mefor, disclosed this in a statement to newsmen in Owerri.

He argued that it was against international humanitarian law and violated their human rights.

Explaining further, he said: “Between 1965 and 1999, the Igbo communities from the Eastern region (and subsequently Igbo states) endured a systematic and deliberate campaign of displacement.

“Uprooted from their ancestral lands, these communities were transferred to hostile territories where they now live as subjugated minorities, utilised merely to augment the numbers in these regions (these Igbo-speaking communities are found in South-South, and Middlebelt/North Central in Nigeria).

” This forcible transfer of a definable population is unequivocally a crime against humanity.

“The Igbo-Biafra Nationalists and the Indigenous People of Igbo Nation for Self-Determination demand the restitution of these displaced Igbo communities back to the present South-East.

“We also call for the creation of additional states within the South-East to equalise the region with others that boast six or seven states. Such restitution is imperative to rectify the imbalance and injustice perpetrated against the Igbo population in Nigeria.

“Forcible transfer within national boundaries, such as that inflicted upon the Igbo race, constitutes a severe violation of human rights.

“This crime can either occur through the forcible transfer of civilian population or through threats, coercion, and insidious policies like boundary adjustments and gerrymandering, designed to permanently displace populations. Under international humanitarian law and Article 7(1) (d) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, such actions are classified as war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

“The Nigerian state’s actions against the Igbo population reflect a broader, systemic, systematic pattern of malicious policies aimed at ethnic cleansing or extermination of the Igbo race. This orchestrated campaign of forced displacement represents an intentional, malicious government policy targeting the Igbo population for extermination and because of its atrocious nature, this egregious violation of human rights demands urgent international attention and redress.

“The Igbo-Biafra Nationalists and the Indigenous People of Igbo Nation for Self-Determination insist on the immediate cessation of these injustices. We urge the international community to acknowledge and address these crimes against humanity the same way the Armenian genocide was recognised.

“We call for a comprehensive restitution plan, including the return of these displaced communities and the equitable creation of new states in the South-East.

“Only through such measures can the historical wrongs inflicted upon the Igbo population be righted, and justice be served,” he said.