EU welcomes publication of Army/Shiites clash Report

Publish Date: Sep 8 2016 8:05PM

The Delegation of European Union to Nigeria and all EU Heads of Missions in Nigeria have welcomed the report on the Army/Shiites clash by the Kaduna State Government.

This is contained in a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja by Mr Modestus Chukwulaka, Press and Information Officer of the Delegation.

``The EU Heads of mission in Nigeria welcome the publication of the report of the Kaduna State Government's Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the violence that occurred in Zaria in December 2015.
``This is a very positive sign of transparency and the EU Heads of mission encourage other ongoing investigations to also publish their findings and recommendations,” the heads of mission said.

The EU noted that the report contained a number of important recommendations.

``We believe it is essential that all those responsible for the violence or violation of fundamental human rights in Zaria, from both sides, be equally investigated and prosecuted according to the law.”

According to EU, it underscores the universality of human rights, which must apply equally to all people.

EU noted that human rights included the right to freedom of worship and the right to protest within the rules of law.

It also underscored the importance of religious tolerance in a multicultural environment.
In order to maintain peace and order, harassment of any particular community should be averted and dialogue encouraged by the authorities, the Union said.

``The EU Heads of mission in Nigeria are of the view that the authority of the government must be respected by all communities.

``In case of violence or disorder, the government must ensure a fair and balanced investigation and all those accused of misconduct should be brought to justice,” it said.

EU, however, urged the Nigerian army to be consistent, transparent and fair in its investigations and prosecution of officers who acted outside the rule of law during the Zaria clashes.

It expressed support in particular for the recommendation that the existing rules of engagement pertaining to internal security operations are reviewed to bring them into conformity with democratic norms and humanitarian best practices.

``It is essential that immediate measures are taken to ensure these rules are understood and applied by the members of the army, the Nigerian public being fully informed.

``The EU Heads of mission will continue to watch developments closely.’’