The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has urged troops to disregard and not be distracted by the move by International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate war crimes against Nigerian forces in parts of the country.
Buratai made the call in a statement by the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Sagir Musa, on Saturday in Abuja on the heels of the ICC Chief Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda’s statement that there were reasonable basis to believe that “members of the Nigerian Security Forces (NSF)” had committed acts constituting crimes against humanity and war crimes.
The ICC statement was immediately followed by a release by the local branch of Amnesty International (AI) in Nigeria, demanding full investigation of atrocities by Nigerian forces.
The call is coming on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the heinous Zaria massacre, during which the Nigerian army killed over a thousand citizens within one weekend and hurriedly buried the corpses in mass graves at night. Several others have since been victims of enforced disappearance.