Nigerian Army embraces Trump's words to justify killing protesters

Nigerian Army embraces Trump's words to justify killing protesters

Nigerian Army embraces Trump's words to justify killing protesters

The Nigerian army has cited a video of US President Donald Trump, in which he says soldiers should respond with force to migrants throwing stones, to justify opening fire on a Shia group this week.

In an immigration speech Thursday, President Trump said that if any migrants throw rocks at the US military, they'll be met with deadly force, because there's "not much of a difference" between a rock and an assault rifle.

"Please watch and make your deductions", said the army in a post on its official Twitter account. "We're not going to put with that", the president said in the video.

"What are they then saying?"

We are going to consider, and I told them to consider it a rifle.

One day later, Trump said he didn't mean the troops would shoot the rock-throwers.

The number of Shia Muslim protesters killed by Nigeria's army in the capital, Abuja, in clashes which began at the weekend, has not been independently verified.

Regarding the deaths on Saturday and Monday, the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria said it is concerned and is urging "restraint on all sides".

The official Twitter account of the Nigerian Army, one of three service branches within the Nigerian Armed Forces, posted a video showing a clip of Trump's speech at the White House on Thursday regarding illegal immigration and border security, in which the USA president said that throwing stones and rocks at American troops would be considered as firearms.

The Nigerian Army has used President Donald Trump's own words about the use of force against migrants throwing stones to justify shooting at Shia Muslim protesters.

The Nigerian army says six protesters have been killed, but the protest group itself says dozens died, and rights group Amnesty International says the true number is 45.

The video of Trump speaking, Nigerian defense spokesperson John Agim told AFP, "was posted in reaction to the Amnesty International report accusing the army of using weapons against pacifist [Shia] protesters".

Samantha Power, who served as ambassador to the United Nations under President Barack Obama, tweeted an image of the now-deleted Twitter post by the Nigerian military.

On Thursday, 120 of 400 IMN members arrested by police on Monday were charged with 'rioting, disturbance of public peace and causing hurt, ' said a court official in Abuja on Friday.

During Zakzaky's 2015 arrest, Nigerian soldiers are believed to have killed hundreds more members of the group.

"Video footage and eyewitness testimonies consistently show that the Nigerian military dispersed peaceful gatherings by firing live ammunition without warning, in clear violation of Nigerian and global law", said Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty worldwide Nigeria. People will kill other people in Africa, as it has been for thousands of years. It was an undisguised attempt to use the rhetoric as justification for soldiers' widely-condemned use of lethal force.

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