Nige­rian army uses Trump’s words to de­fend shoot­ing

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - World -

Nige­ria’s army on Fri­day posted a video of US pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump say­ing soldiers would shoot mi­grants throw­ing stones to jus­tify Nige­rian troops open­ing fire on a Shi­ite group this week.

“Please watch and make your de­duc­tions,” the army said on its of­fi­cial Twit­ter ac­count.

In the video, Trump warns that soldiers de­ployed to the Mex­i­can bor­der could shoot Cen­tral Amer­i­can mi­grants who throw stones at them while at­tempt­ing to cross il­le­gally.

“They want to throw rocks at our mil­i­tary, our mil­i­tary fights back,” Trump said.

“I told them [troops] con­sider it [a rock] a ri­fle. When they throw rocks like they did at the Mex­i­can mil­i­tary and po­lice, I say con­sider it a ri­fle.”

Nige­ria de­fence spokesper­son John Agim said the army had posted the video in re­sponse to crit­i­cism that its se­cu­rity forces had acted un­law­fully.

The Is­lamic Move­ment of Nige­ria (IMN) said 49 of its mem­bers had been killed af­ter the army and po­lice fired live bul­lets at crowds who marched near and in the cap­i­tal Abuja.

The army’s of­fi­cial death toll was six.

Amnesty In­ter­na­tional said on Wed­nes­day it had strong ev­i­dence that po­lice and soldiers had used au­to­matic weapons against IMN mem­bers and killed about 45 peo­ple in an “un­con­scionable use of deadly force by soldiers and po­lice”.

The US em­bassy in Nige­ria said on Thurs­day it was con­cerned and called for an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“The video was posted in re­ac­tion to the Amnesty In­ter­na­tional re­port ac­cus­ing the army of us­ing weapons against paci­fist Shi­ite pro­test­ers,” Agim said. “Not only did they use stones but they were car­ry­ing petrol bombs, ma­chetes and knives, so yes, we con­sider them as be­ing armed.”

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