Pacific Press/Sipa USA/NewscomNigeria's military today justified the deaths of Shia protesters using U.S. President Donald Trump's remarks suggesting American soldiers might fire on rock-throwing migrants.
Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, have this week clashed with soldiers during protests in Abuja seeking the release from detention of their leader, Mohammed Al Zakzaky. No president should be embracing the horrific use of excessive force.
The US is a close partner of Nigeria's government, but has historically been cautious when it comes to security collaboration between the countries, given the Nigerian military's long history of abuse and the absence of meaningful accountability.
The Nigerian Army, which has been accused of using excessive deadly force against Muslim protesters, appeared to use a recent comment by President Donald Trump to justify the violence, according to CBS News.
The clashed which left a varying number of persons dead and many injured have sparked a widespread criticism from individuals and groups within and outside the country. The IMN said that the military killed at least 49 people with their live bullets.
"The video was posted in reaction to the Amnesty International report accusing the army of using weapons against pacifist Shiite protesters", said Agim.
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The report said gunmen riding on motorbikes opened fire on Sami ul Haq's vehicle and as a result he was injured and then died. There he studied fiqh, usul al-fiqh, Arabic literature, logic, Arabic grammar (sarf and nahw), tafsir, and Hadith.
Nigeria's government said its soldiers were acting in self-defense, according to The Guardian.
"I told them (troops) consider it (a rock) a rifle". Amnesty International says that the protesters were peaceful and that 45 of them were killed, while the Nigerian military maintains that the demonstrators were armed and only six people died.
"It seems the Nigerian military are deliberately using tactics created to kill when dealing with IMN gatherings".
The Army has previously tweeted photos of wounded soldiers who suffered from rock pelting religious protesters seeking the release of their detained leader.
Trump, however, has made clear his intention to strengthen the US-Nigerian partnership, despite minimal efforts by Nigeria at genuine reform. "So, a stone is a weapon", he said. "I don't think you expect soldiers to fold their hands and watch the protesters run over them".
"Video footage and eyewitness testimonies consistently show that the Nigerian military dispersed peaceful gatherings by firing live ammunition without warning, in clear violation of Nigerian and worldwide law", an Amnesty statement read.
Trump's at times friendly treatment of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has also raised questions in other authoritarian nations about whether Trump values personal ties more than actual progress on improving human rights records, previously a cornerstone of USA diplomacy.