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Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), on Friday, condemned the indiscriminate military raids of the South-East while leaving the North-West and the theatre of insurgency war in the North-East.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, restated that the operations of the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Air Force in Enugu, Imo, Anambra, Ebonyi and Abia has resulted in extrajudicial killings in the last one year.
According to news reports, an unspecified number of people, on Wednesday including policemen and a soldier were feared dead at the now dangerous Ihiala axis of Anambra State during a clash between security operatives and gunmen.
The incident happened at the Imo State border towns of Orsumoghu, Lilu, and Azia in Ihiala Local Government Area.
Some residents also reportedly died and got injured in the crossfire between the security operatives and the gunmen. Many civilians have been sent to their early graves in the last one year since the military and security agents turned maddening heat on the South-East zone under the pretext of combatting members of the Indigenous People of Biafra and the Eastern Security Network.
HURIWA emphasised its stance that the military has been committing extrajudicial killings in the zone under the deployment of needless operations including the ongoing Operation in which soldiers have been caught on videos that have gone viral setting houses and communities on fire in a very despicable fashion reminiscent of a primitive or medieval times military operations.
HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “It is troubling that the military forces have concentrated so much energy to a once peaceful zone literally turning it into a war zone with its senseless killings and attack on civilians branded gunmen. Many innocent youths in the South-East have been arrested and detained and wrongfully branded IPOB members. Some of them have been killed, sadly.
HURIWA recalled that there have been a lot of cases of unclaimed corpses suspected to be those of innocent Igbo youths dumped indiscriminately in public hospitals in Imo State by security forces and indeed many University students have lost their lives as a result of the lawlessness of the security forces.
The Rights group maintained that these killings must never be swept under the carpets just as the Rights group wondered why the report of hundreds of extrajudicial killings by security forces in the South East compiled by Amnesty International was never attended to by government at the centre of that of Imo State which is the epicentre of these premeditated killings by security forces.
“HURIWA condemns the discrimination by the military in carrying out its operations. During its recent operations to free the Ihiala Anambra to Imo State axis of the evil of the daredevil armed gangs, the military and the security forces have always been caught burning houses of suspected members of ESN or IPOB or their sympathisers which is extrajudicial and unconstitutional since there is no court judgment regarding those houses in Imo State that were set on fire by security forces and Ebubeagu.
“It is, however, ironical that the military has failed to bombard the North-West based terrorists and these terrorists are operating freely, killing, maiming and raping women and girls. In Borno State, terrorists are being resettled and bribed by the government rather than prosecuted for their crimes against humanity.
“HURIWA calls for speedy enforcement of military actions against terrorists in North West and North Central including the armed Fulani attackers who are busy destroying Southern Kaduna Christian communities. The military must also let discretion prevail in the deployment of troops in the South-East.”