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Shi’ites are insurgents and should be treated as such – Kaduna govt

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TVC N. The Kaduna state government says the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) is an insurgent group and should be treated as such.

This was contained in a white paper released by the state government on the report of the judicial commission of inquiry which investigated the December 2015 clash between IMN members also known as the Shi’ites and the Nigerian army.

It said the mass burial given to the Shi’ites after the clash was not in contravention of any law.

Citing the armed forces Act, it said that the army could open fire if there was threat to life and property.

“For all intent and purpose, the IMN is an insurgent group and ought to be treated as such; the sheer numbers of IMN members congregating from across the country that night, with many bearing arms, was such that the Nigerian army was in no position to accurately determine how armed and organised they were and had to be concerned on what their intention for Zaria was,” it read.

“Section 7 sub- section 1 of the Burial Law Cap 20 Laws of Kaduna state government 1991 requires the burial of persons who die in this type of circumstances within 24 hours. The Interpretation section of Rule 115 Geneva Convention also states that in circumstances of this nature, dead bodies could be buried in a mass grave.

“A soldier could open fire if his life or any law abiding member of the public and or property is in grave danger.

“The use of lethal force can only be resorted to by the Armed Forces if all other means to control the situation fail or in case of un expected attacks or suspected IEDs attack which a delay could lead to loss of lives or serious injuries to personnel, which is applicable under the circumstances; in the guide for the use of force by the armed forces.”

It adopted the findings of the commission which blamed Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, leader of the IMN for the clash, for failing to call his members to order

Over 300 Shi’ites were allegedly killed by the Nigerian army during the clash.

This prompted setting up of the panel of inquiry to investigate the matter.

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