ABUJA, (CAJ News) – THE Igbo Ekunie Initiative (IEI), a prodemocracy group, has accused the international community of complicity in the human rights violations in Nigeria over the years.
These have resulted in the death of thousands of civilians.
IEI particularly blamed on the alleged silence by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In a statement signed by Maazi Tochukwu Ezeoke, President, and Lawrence Nwobu, Secretary, IEI said Nigeria had the highest incidents of rights violations in Africa, yet local officials had not been indicted.
IEI recounted the crisis between 1966 and 1967 when military officials, the police in collaboration with civilians and local authorities allegedly targeted and massacred more than 30 000 persons of Eastern origin.
The group alleged non-punishment of then President Yakubu Gowon paved the way for subsequent genocides and human rights violations in Africa including the Rwanda genocide of the 1990s
IEI highlighted further violations.
“Curiously, even though Nigeria continues to be a major theatre of human rights violations, no one has been indicted for either past or present crimes against humanity,” said the organization.
“For example in 1999, the Odi massacre was carried out by the Nigerian army in Odi Bayelsa state followed in 2001 by the Zaki Biam massacre.”
The Army has in recent months been under criticism for its quashing of pro-Biafra protests.
“It is our conviction that these violations have continued because of the impunity associated with the lack of action by the ICC even though several petitions have been submitted in that regards.”
The organization maintained violations in Africa could not be solved until culprits from countries like Nigeria were punished to end the circle of impunity.
“We hereby ask for an update on the state of our petition and accordingly urge the ICC to break the jinx and deliberately act to investigate and indict Nigerian officials guilty of human rights violations.”
– CAJ News