The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, has urged soldiers of the Nigerian Army not to be demoralised by the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) decision to investigate Nigeria’s security forces.
Bibian Anekwe News reports that the ICC General Prosecutor is seeking full investigations into allegations of “crimes against humanity” and “war crimes”.
Reacting in a statement on Saturday and signed by the Acting Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sagir Musa, Buratai said the ICC investigation will lead to a setback to all internal security operations.
According to the COAS, who is currently in self-isolation after coming in contact with an officer who tested positive for COVID-19, the move by the ICC would have negative consequences on troops’ morale and interest in military service by Nigerians.
“There is no doubt such statement and instigation can distract the Nigerian Army troops with its demoralising effects.
“The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General TY Buratai, enjoins Nigerian Army troops to ignore the distractions and calls on the gallant troops never to be worried or demoralised by these moves,” the statement read in part.
This online news platform reports that this is coming at a time when there are widespread allegations that security forces in the northeast and other parts of Nigeria are abusing civilians.
The Office of Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) had pinpointed 10 possible cases of human rights violations and war crimes in its end of the year report on preliminary examination activities.
It was gathered that the document does not provide specific allegations to be investigated by the court, however, stating that “there is sufficient evidence to be investigated by the ICC .“
The prosecutor’s office said the ICC had conducted a thorough investigation and investigated allegations of mass killings, abuse and abuse.
Fatou Bensouda, a prosecutor at the ICC, said there is “reasonable basis to believe that members of the Nigerian Security Forces (“NSF”) have committed the following acts constituting crimes against humanity and war crime.“