Buratai to soldiers: Don’t be scared of ICC war crime charges, you just did your job

Buratai to soldiers: Don’t be scared of ICC war crime charges, you just did your job

Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai has urged Nigerian soldiers not to be intimidated by threats of war crime charges at the International Criminal Court.

Buratai issued this stance at a meeting of military brass-hats on Monday, October 26.

According to the COAS, the soldiers should be aware that their activities were carried out in line with the Nigerian Constitution.

Nigerian soldiers have “every right under the Constitution to carry out assigned and legitimate roles of maintaining law and order in aid of civil authorities and other security agencies,” Buratai said according to transcripts of the meeting circulated by Army spokesman Sagir Musa.

Also Read: Lawan pledges to ensure justice for victims of police brutality

1st News had reported that Nigerian soldiers opened fire at unarmed protesters in Lagos, killing at least nine, last week.

The attack has been widely condemned around the world, with top voices like Bill Clinton and Donald Trump demanding immediate investigations.

President Muhammadu Buhari has yet to hold anyone accountable for the massacre, fuelling speculation that he ordered it as the commander in chief.

In 2015, the Nigerian president justified the massacre of over 1,000 Shiites in Zaria; saying they were wrong to have tapped military generals in the chest at a checkpoint.

Furthermore, the Nigerian Army has been under criticism to release the bodies in its custody for proper burial.

Some Nigerians at home and abroad also filed complaints to the Netherlands-based ICC; receiving an acknowledgment from its top prosecutor Fatou Bensouda last week.

Buratai was also the military chief at the heart of the Shiite massacre of December 2015; which analysts said had set him up for potential trial at the Hague; when added to civilians killed as they sang the national anthem in Lagos on October 20.

The military action in Lagos sparked thug violence across the capital, which saw valuable assets looted or set on fire.

At least 27 police stations were also burnt during the rage.

Buratai said anyone who doubts their commitment to their constitutional responsibilities; must be made to know that they remain committed to ensuring the unity; stability; and security of Nigeria.

 

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