US, UK call for probe of Army/Shiite clash
The United States and the United Kingdom have expressed concern over reports of violent clashes between members of the Nigerian Army and the Shiite Islamic Movement in Zaria, Kaduna State over the past days.
It advised the two sides to exercise restraint to avoid actions that may further destabilize the situation.
“While many details of the incidents that reportedly began on December 12 remain unclear, we are dismayed to learn of multiple civilian deaths. It is essential that all sides refrain from actions that further destabilize the situation.
“The United States calls on the Government of Nigeria to quickly, credibly, and transparently investigate these events in Zaria and hold to account any individuals found to have committed crimes.”
The British High Commissioner, Paul Arkwright in his own statement admonished the security agencies to conduct their operations within the ambit of the rule of law.
He also urged demonstrators to ensure that their protests were peaceful and within the law.
Arkwright said, “Like many across Nigeria, I am following with concern the reports of violence in Zaria over the weekend between the Nigerian security forces and the Islamic Movement of Nigeria. I am further concerned at reports that protests in Kaduna have turned violent.
“Nigeria’s religious and ethnic diversity adds a great deal to this country’s rich culture. It is important, therefore, that Nigerians of all faiths are allowed to assemble and worship freely.
“In addition, I call on the security forces to conduct their operations within the rule of law, and for demonstrators to ensure any protests are peaceful and equally act within the law.”