SIIP-NE: COAS accuses Reuters of sabotaging combat insurgency

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The Nigerian Army has challenged the international news agency (Reuters) to bring up evidence to substantiate the claims on abortion of 10,000 pregnancies, massacre of children and other sexual and gender based violations against the Armed Forces.

It stated that the intention is to rubbish the successes story in combating insurgency.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Farouk Yahaya, while testifying before the Special Independent Investigative Panel on Human Rights Violations in Counter Insurgency Operations in the North East said the Nigerian Army is majorly concerned about fighting the insurgency and restoring peace in the North East.

“It appears that Reuters is acting a script to rubbish our successes in the North East. Some people are gifted in writing just like in novels, describing what they never witnessed forgetting that in the military if you waste any ammunition you will be court martial. We are not a mercenary army, we are a professional army.

“We are succeeding and not many are happy that we are succeeding. They cannot reverse our successes therefore they rubbish it. Sometimes, they are playing other peoples script. We are not Boko Haram terrorists, we are trained to be professionals and the training is continuous,” he added.

Another statement in the press release signed by the deputy director, Public Affairs NHRC Fatimah Agwai Mohammed, that the Armed Forces is operating under the government.

“The National Human Rights Commission follows what is being done in the military and what we are doing is internal operation. We are operating in our country. The army is Nigerian Army and we are not like Boko Haram that that does not operate under code of conduct.

“Caution is planted in our head that the people you are fighting are Nigerians and there is no policy like that, rather the policy we have is respect for human beings, we are not more Nigerian than the people, that is why is Nigerian Army, the allegation is just grammar our business is to defeat the insurgents.”

Testifying further before the 7-member panel chaired by Justice Abdu Aboki (rtd), the witness said while the military is buying arms to fight the insurgents, one would have expected Reuters to support the efforts instead of adopting this “textbook solution” that does not reflect the reality of the situation in the North East.

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