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Democracy Day: We must remain vigilant - Tinubu

Zaria massacre: US wants soldiers involved to be punished

Zaria massacre: US wants soldiers involved to be punished
The United States wants the

Nigerian government to hasten action on

punishing Soldiers involved in

last year's killings of the Shiites in Zaria,

Kaduna state.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria,

(NAN), John Kirby, the assistant secretary

and department spokesperson of the bureau

of public affairs, said the US was in

support of the recommendations of the

White Paper that members of the military

involved in the killings be punished.

The US diplomat said: “On Dec. 5th, the

Kaduna State Government in Nigeria issued

a long-awaited White Paper on clashes last

year that resulted in the deaths of a

reported 348 civilians and one soldier.

“We fully agree with the White Paper's

recommendation that members of the

military who were involved in the unlawful

killing of civilians must be held accountable

and punished appropriately."

Kirby noted that as the one-year

anniversary of the Zaria massacre

approaches, the burden was on the

Nigerian government to be diligent,

transparent, and expeditious in following

through on this recommendation of the

paper.

He said the US was also concerned with the

paper's characterisation of the Islamic

Movement of Nigeria (IMN) as an

“insurgent group”.

The spokesperson said the U.S government

would also want federal government heed

to the December 2 decision of the High

Court which ordered the release from

prison of IMN leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky,

and his wife, within 45 days.

Kirby urged the Nigerian government to

protect the right to freedom of worship as a

stated in the Nigerian constitution.

He advocated for the different levels of

government to evolve ways of non-violent

engagement with all citizens, including

minority religious groups.

Meanwhile, just days after the Shiite

Islamic Movement of Nigeria was declared

a terrorist group by the Kaduna state

government, more revelations have

emerged about the activities of its members

led by Ibraheem El-Zakzaky who is still in

detention.

Also, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has

revealed that the group actually carried

out the assassination of some Islamic

clerics and attacked the Emir of Zaria,

Shehu Idris.

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