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Amnesty International Release Report on Extra-Judicial Killings of 150 IPOB Protesters

About 150 agitators for the Republic of Biafra have been killed by Nigerian security operatives, especially the Nigerian army. This much was contained in a new report by Amnesty International (AI), detailing how the pro-Biafrans met their death through extrajudicial killings and torture by the security forces.

Over 150 IPOB protesters were reportedly killed between August 2015 and August 2016 according to the report titled: “Bullets Were Raining Everywhere”. This stats was said to have depended on an analysis of 87 videos, 122 photographs and 146 eye witness testimonies which showed the soldiers were firing live ammunition to disperse some of the agitators without a prior warning. For instance, no fewer than 60 defenceless protesters of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) were killed within two days ahead of the May 30 Biafra Remembrance Day celebration.

IPOB, which was formed by Nnamdi Kanu, seeks the restoration of breakaway sovereign state of Republic of Biafra from Nigeria. Biafra was a secessionist state in the south-east region of Nigeria that existed from May 30, 1967 to January 1970. The secession of Biafra was the main cause of the Nigeria Civil War. Over 1 million people died in the war.
Mr. Kanu was arrested on October 14, and is being tried for treason. There has been an increase in the agitation of pro-Biafra activists since his arrest.

President Muhammadu Buhari is strongly opposed to the creation of Biafra. In May 2016 during a visit to the palace of the Emir of Katsina, Mr. Buhari suggested that it is better for Nigerians to commit mass suicide than for the actualization of the breakaway state of Biafra.
“We will not let that happen. For Nigeria to divide now, it is better for all of us to jump into the sea and get drowned,” he said.

Meanwhile, in a move aimed at countering the planned release of AI’s report on Thursday, the Nigeria army on Wednesday evening released a statement denying that soldiers killed and tortured defenceless pro-Biafra agitators.

It stated that the report was an attempt to tarnish the reputation of Nigerian security forces and that of the army especially.

The statement by the acting director of army public relations, Sani Usman, a colonel, stated that IPOB members relished in the use of violence that threatens the security of the country.
It claimed that IPOB members attacked and killed people from other ethnic groups in the south-east and injured several soldiers and policemen. The statement also claimed that the protesters vandalised military and police vehicles.

He stated that the military acted within its mandate and in fact, approached the protesters with restrain despite their use of “unjustifiable violence”.

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