The British High Commission in Abuja has intervened following the inaction of the Nigerian federal government to take any steps to prosecute the soldiers that massacred over 300 Shia Muslims in Zaria, Kaduna State in December last year.
In a statement, the High Commission wrote: “It’s been a year since the tragic event in Zaria, which reportedly resulted in the deaths of 348 civilians and one soldier”. And added: “We call on the Nigerian Federal Government to take the recommendations made in the Zaria report forward in order to ensure that any future actions by the Nigerian Armed Forces are in accordance with international human rights law and/or international humanitarian law”.
A Kaduna State government inquiry into the clashes between the Shia and the military established that the General Officer Commanding the Nigerian Army’s 1st Division, Major-General Adeniyi Oyebade, and other senior army officers, ordered the military operation that resulted in the massacre of at least 347 members of the Shia Muslim group in Zaria last year December. The inquiry recommended that Oyebade be prosecuted.
The inquiry’s report has been ignored and Oyebade is still in charge of his division.