Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Nzuko Umunna petitions COAS Attahiru over shoot-on-sight in south east order - ITREALMS

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The Nzuko Umunna, a Think-Tank of Igbo intellectuals and professionals all over the world has petitioned the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru over the shoot-on-sight order and ongoing extra-judicial killings in the South-East zone, reports ITREALMS.
The petition dated Tuesday, May 11, 2021 was tagged an "Open Letter to the Nigerian Chief of Army Staff" the group alleged Attahiru's shoot-on-sight order given to Army troops in the South East in recent days, was given credence with a scheme for which new batches of men were moved over the weekend. 


They also alleged this directive seems to have been given unofficially in a hush-hush manner, making the situation all the more ominous. 

"A Shoot-On- Sight directive is tantamount to an order to extra-judicially exterminate innocent citizens as there is no telling who might be part of the collerteral, unintended casualties," they warned, stressing that throughout history, such military  strategies or policies have  always run the risk of going contrary to all accepted conventions and protocols on the rules of engagement, particularly the Rome Statutes.

In addition, the group said the order could be read as genocide where as in this case, there is clear and evident danger of such action  resulting in high casualties. 

"If the speculation of a Shoot-On-Sight order were to bear any atom of truth, then it amounts to a declaration of war on the area.  However, even if, for any reason, the Federal Government is minded to declare war on the South East or a part of it, there are standard international conventions and protocols that must be observed. One of such is the requirement to publicly and unambiguously declare that a war situation has arisen in such a place so that those who wish to, especially the civilians and innocent citizens, can withdraw from such a place. That has not been done," Nzuko Umunna said.

"But it is our well considered contention that there do not exist in the South East of Nigeria any peculiar situation which does not exist in even worse forms in other parts of the country to warrant or justify such a Shoot-On-Sight order.
"And we put whoever thinks to the contrary to the strictest of proof."

Further, they said that based on these, the overall interest of the country demanded that "you use your good offices to not only clear the air on this very disturbing issue but also counter any such directive in case it has, by some fluke or stroke of overzealousness, been issued."

The petition available to ITREALMS was signed by Dr. N Odumuko and Dr.P. Mbanefo for the Nzuko Umunna

They equally copied The Minister of Defence, The Chief of Staff to The CnC, The United Nations Agency on Human Rights, Human Rights International, The United States Embassy; The High Commission United Kingdom; The French Embassy; The Russian Embassy Amnesty International; The Nigerian Human Rights, Commission; The Congressional Black Caucus  and The Embassy of China.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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