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Human Rights Allegations Against Military Baseless – GOC

GOC 7 Division addressing the Panel in Maiduguri on Friday

The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division, Maiduguri, Maj. Gen. Waidi Shuaibu said the report by Reuters claiming military engagement in revenge killings and illegal abortions on survivours of Boko-Haram are baseless.

Shuaibu made the claim on Friday in Maiduguri while testifying before the Special Independent Investigative Panel on Human Rights Violations in Counter-Insurgency Operations in North East.

Shuaibu said as someone with firm grip of his division, nothing of such could have happened without his knowledge.

“Nothing of that happened. It’s not in our culture and code of conduct,” Shuaibu said.

He said the military in the division have operational order that protects rescued women and children as well as insurgents surrendering that are now about 85,000.

He said that rescued women and repentant insurgents were profiled and provided first aid when necessary before they are handed over to the Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) which has facilities to keep them with support from International and national organisations.

“Between January to December last year, we rescued 13 Chibok girls with children; one was pregnant and we have handed them over to the state,” Shaibu said.

He noted that no dead of any rescued person or repentant Boko-Haram was recorded in the military facility, adding that those making allegations against the military as quoted in Reuters report have the onus to come and prove thier claims.

According to the GOC, the military always trained its personnel on rules of engagement and the ones governing women and children as enshrined in the constitution and code of conduct.

He said that there is civil-military desk that recieve complaints against the military from the civil populace in case of any abuse.

He debunked the allegations that the military had an operation code named “Operation No Living Thing” where children fathered by Boko-Haram were killed in revenge by the military, adding that the operations the military conducted and is conducting are “Operation Lafiya Dole” and “Operation Hadin Kai”.

“There is nothing like orchestrated revenge and killings. I dont think soldiers will go to that extent..

“If there is anything of that nature it would have come out. The allegations are baseless and there is no iota of truth,” Shaibu said.

He expressed concern on why such allegations against the military were coming at this critical time of positive results in the fight against insurgency with many of the terrorists surrendering.

The investigative panel which has retired Justice Abdu Aboki as Chairman was constituted by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

It was constituted following the three-part report of media group, Reuters, in December 2022, alleging series of gross violations of international and national human rights laws by the Nigerian Armed Forces and Boko Haram insurgents.

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