The Minister of Defence, retired Maj.-Gen Bashir Magashi, has debunked allegation of human rights violations by Nigerian troops in the on-going counter-terrorism operations in the North East by a section of international community.
Magashi stated this when the United States Acting Ambassador to Nigeria, Kathleen Gibbon, paid him a courtesy visit on Thursday, in Abuja.
The Special Assistant to the Minister on Media and Publicity, Mohammad Abdulkadri, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.
The minister assured the international community of President Muhammadu Buhari’s respect for the domestic and International laws on human rights abuses.
He said that the Nigerian troops were guided by the extant laws of the land as enshrined in the constitution and rules of engagements as well as acts and other laws to warrant any form of abuse.
He also gave assurance that the Nigerian military would not renege on its avowed compliance to the rule of law and commitment to defending the national interest at all cost.
“What else should Nigeria do to protect human rights and Child Protection Act that the country is not doing presently,” he asked.
The minister, however, thanked the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and the U.S. Office of the Defence Cooperation for the delivery of the NAF Super Tucano aircraft and the training of NAF Pilots and engineers.
Earlier, the Acting Ambassador, Kathleen Gibbon, pledged the continuous support of the U.S. for Nigeria, adding that the remaining six Super Tucano would arrive the country by September.
Gibbon appreciated the progress Nigeria has made in fighting insurgency and the nation’s compliance with Protocols.
She pledged that another meeting would be convened to discuss way forward for the promotions of human rights and Child Protection Act among other areas of common concerns to the two countries.
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