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Human Rights Violations: No Case to Answer On Allegations Against Nigerian Troops – Defence Minister

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By Abba Hamisu Sani

The Minister of Defence Maj Gen Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd) has debunked reported
cases of Human Rights’ violations levelled against the country by the International Community on the account of the modus operandi of the nation’s fighting forces in the on-going Counter Terrorism Operations in the North East.

General Magashi refuted this allegation when the United States Acting Ambassador to Nigeria Kathleen Fitz Gibbon visited the Ship House Ministry of Defence Headquarters Abuja on courtesy call.

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He told Gibbon that the Nigerian President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces Muhammadu Buhari is a stickler to the domestic and International laws that forbid abuse of Human Rights.

He said the Nigerian troops are guided in their operations by the extant laws of the land as enshrined in the Constitution and rules of engagements as well as Acts and other laws to warrant any form of abuse.

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While being emphatic that the Nigerian Military will not renege on her avowed compliance to the rule of law in a democratic environment and the Military’s commitment to defending the National interest no matter whose horse is gored, he asked rhetorically ; what else should Nigeria do to protect human rights and Child Protection Act that the country is not doing presently ?

Moving on the Defence Minister, however thanked the US Africa Command, AFRICOM and the US Office of the Defence Cooperation for the delivery of the NAF Super Tulcano aircraft and the training of NAF Pilots and engineers.

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On her part, the US Acting Ambassador to Nigeria, Kathleen Fitz Gibbon pledged continued support to Nigeria adding that the remaining six Super Tulcano will arrive the country by September next month.

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Gibbon appreciated the progress Nigeria has made in fighting insurgency and the nation’s compliance with Protocols.

She appreciated the Minister for the audience and the agreed plan to reconvene another meeting soonest to consider various documents before the Ministry of Defence touching on the way forward for the promotions of Human Rights and Child Protection Act among other areas of common concerns to the two Countries.

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