The Nigerian military on Wednesday denied allegations of human rights abuses levied against troops in the counter-insurgency operation in the North-East.
Since the military offensive against insurgency in the North-East part of the country began, the military has been accused of human rights abuses and extra-judicial killings by witnesses, local and international observer groups, including the Human Rights Watch.
However, the Director, Defence Information, Maj-Gen. Chris Olukolade, at the briefing of the Joint National Information Centre, Abuja, said the allegations against troops are false and baseless.
He said the Nigerian military and other security agencies are guided by global rules of engagement.
He, however, did not rule out the investigation of human rights abuses by the military whenever such is believed to have occurred.
“The position of the Nigerian armed forces and security agencies is guided by rules of engagement which we will continue to abide by. Accusations of human rights abuse will be investigated whenever it is believed to have occurred”, Mr. Olukolade said.
He said such allegations against the Nigerian military has become a pattern for most organizations, who doubt the ability of the military to maintain its operations. He also insisted that the military is conducting all its operations in the ‘most professional manner’.
Maj-Gen. Olukolade disclosed that some troops lost their lost their lives in the bomb explosion that occurred at a Maiduguri market on Tuesday.
He also said that the Nigerian military and other security agencies will continue to defend the nation even at the point of death.
The defence spokesman, however, denied reports that residents at the scene of the Maiduguri blast attacked the military and fire fighters.
“We just know that our men did their job on that spot. In fact we lost soldiers in the course of that incidence but be sure that the military and other security agencies will continue to do their duty and I don’t have a report of anybody being denied the right to execute their mandate as a security agent in that area”, Olukolade said.