Sowore urges Army to refrain from jungle justice

Sowore urges Army to refrain from jungle justice

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Omoyele Sowore, a prominent Nigerian activist and leader of the #RevolutionNow movement, has raised concerns over recent violence in the Niger Delta region following reports of alleged ambushes targeting Nigerian soldiers.

Sowore, known for his advocacy for human rights and social justice, condemned the attacks on security forces but cautioned against indiscriminate retaliation.

In a statement released via social media, Sowore expressed distress over the proliferation of distressing images depicting purported militants in the Niger Delta region engaging in violence against Nigerian soldiers.

He noted a disturbing trend of calls for the Nigerian Army to respond by “levelling” the affected communities, a response he underscored as constituting an international crime.

The activist highlighted the Nigerian Army’s response to the attacks, citing reports of communities being set ablaze in retaliation.

While acknowledging the condemnable nature of attacks on security forces, Sowore emphasised the importance of upholding due process and avoiding “jungle justice.”

Sowore called upon Nigerian authorities to facilitate an impartial investigation into the crisis, urging the involvement of international human rights organisations to ensure accountability and justice for all parties involved.

He particularly urged the Nigerian Army to exercise restraint and ensure that the rights of innocent civilians are safeguarded, cautioning against a repeat of past incidents where civilian rights were breached in similar circumstances.

He wrote,

I have been inundated with gory images of alleged militants in the Niger Delta region killing Nigerian soldiers. In an apparent ambush, following this, there has been a disturbing number of commentaries asking the Nigerian Army to “level” the area, mostly from Nigerians enlightened enough to know that such reaction constitutes international crime, the Nigerian army predictably has gone to battle to set some of the communities ablaze. While the attack of Nigerian security forces remains condemnable and unacceptable, no security agency/ies should engage in jungle justice. I call on the Nigerian authorities to allow an impartial investigation involving international human rights organizations into this crisis to bring those guilty to justice. However, the must restrain its officers and ensure that the rights of innocent civilians are not breached carelessly as it had always done in similar cases.

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