Highlights

  • Clashes between Nigerian soldiers and Shiites being investigated
  • Clashes between soldiers and IPOB members also being probed
  • At least 10 cases on the ICC list for investigation

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has disclosed that it is currently investigating possible war crimes in some clashes in Nigeria. The ICC cited in its 2019 annual report the clash between the Nigerian Army and members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as Shi’ites, as one of those being investigated.

The global criminal court is also investigating the clash between Nigerian soldiers and members of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB), a proscribed separatist group from the southeast region of Nigeria.

More cases

ThisDay reports that the potential cases being investigated in Nigeria for war crimes and human rights abuses have increased from eight to ten. Seven of the cases, according to the ICC, have to do with the Boko Haram insurgency while the remaining three border on activities of Nigerian security agencies.

Earlier inquiry

It would be recalled that a judicial inquiry into the clash had concluded in 2016 that Nigerian troops should be prosecuted for the killing of 349 Shia Muslims in 2015 in the northern Nigeria city of Zaria.

The report corroborated findings by human rights organisations on the use of “excessive force” by the army.

The report of the commission of inquiry said 349 people, including one soldier, were killed in the clashes and property worth thousands of dollars destroyed.

“Out of the said 349 dead persons, 347 (excluding the soldier) were buried in a mass grave,” said the report.

The commission said it had received 3,578 memoranda – 132 letters and 3,446 emails – along with 39 exhibits and 87 witnesses testimonies in the course of the inquiry and the writing of the 193-page report, according to Reuters news agency.

NP/Monitored

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