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COVID-19: General Buratai in Self-Isolation, Speaks on ICC, AI Reports

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai who has gone into self-isolation as part of precaution against the COVID-19, would soon be joining Nigerian “troops in the North East at the end of the mandatory isolation period to continue giving the desired leadership and support to the gallant and patriotic troops of the Nigerian Army.”

This is even as the COAS has reacted to a report by the International Criminal Court that it has found reasonable basis to believe that members of the Nigerian Security Forces have committed acts constituting crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The military authorities urged the troops to continue with the ongoing war against insurgency and criminal elements in parts of Nigeria.

“The Nigerian Army’s attention has been drawn to a Press Release by the Prosecutor General of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday 11 December 2020, alleging that she has found a reasonable basis to believe that “members of the Nigerian Security Forces (“NSF”)” have committed acts constituting crimes against humanity and war crimes.

“This was immediately followed by a release by the local branch of Amnesty International (AI) in Nigeria “demanding full investigation of atrocities by Nigerian forces”, Sagir Musa, a Brigadier General and Acting Director Army Public Relations, said in a statement.

He added, “There is no doubt such statement and instigation can distract the Nigerian Army troops with its demoralising effects.

“It will have negative consequences on troops morale, interest in military service by Nigerians and severe setback to all our internal security operations in the country.

“However, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General TY Buratai, enjoins Nigerian Army troops to ignore the distractions and call on the gallant troops never to be worried or demoralized by these moves.

“The COAS who is currently in self-isolation as part of precaution against the COVID-19, would soon be joining our gallant troops in the North East at the end of the mandatory isolation period to continue giving the desired leadership and support to the gallant and patriotic troops of the Nigerian Army.

“He said we must fight on to secure our country and people.

“He further enjoined troops to ignore the wicked, unnecessary distractions and direct troops to fully concentrate on the final defeat of Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists group which is in sight.

“He also charges the troops to work hard and be guided by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Rules of Engagement, the Code of Conduct and the Standing Operating Procedures for all Nigerian Army Operations.

“The COAS wishes to assure and reiterate that the Nigerian Army is not only protecting human rights but also sustaining human rights nationally and globally.

“Our professional conduct over the years and most recently during the #ENDSARS protest at Lekki Village near Lagos are clear testimonies to the Nigerian Army’s posture on promoting sustainable human rights policy.

“The Nigerian Army wishes to advise local or international organisations not to allow themselves be used to destabilize or destroy the troops’ morale by the sponsors of mischief in Nigeria”, the military spokesman said.

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