Nigeria Police did not indict JTF on Baga killings – Spokesperson

A woman walks past burnt houses in the aftermath of what Nigerian authorities said was heavy fighting between security forces and Islamist militants in Baga, a fishing town on the shores of Lake Chad, adjacent to the Chadian border, April 21, 2013. The bloody gun battle against Islamist insurgents in Nigeria last week involved forces from neighbouring Chad and Niger, officials said on Tuesday, as West African countries increasingly view jihadist groups as a cross-border threat. There was no confirmation of the death toll from Friday's fighting, but a Nigerian military source said dozens may have died, many of them civilians. The Nigerian Red Cross said it was checking reports from locals that 187 people had died, but had still not obtained security clearance to go into Baga. Picture taken April 21, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer (NIGERIA - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS) - RTXZ0PR

The police said it is committed to working with other security agencies.

The Nigeria Police on Friday refuted claims made in a recent National Human Rights Commission report that it indicted the Joint Task Force, JTF, on Baga killings.

About 200 civilians were reportedly killed and hundreds of houses burnt in Baga during a military raid on suspected insurgents.

“The Force wishes to rebut references to it by recent media reports credited to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) which created the impression that a report issued by the Force indicted the JTF on the Baga incident. This is not true and cannot be true!” read a statement signed by Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba.

Mr. Mba noted that the police, as a component of the JTF operating in various parts of the nation, cannot set out to discredit itself. He indicated that said report did not emanate from the Nigeria Police Authority as the force supports synergy between security agencies to enhance the nation’s security.

“While pledging to uphold its professional ethics and respect for Human Rights, the Nigeria Police Force implores members of the public and the Human Rights community to keep up their support for on-going efforts by Nigerian Security Forces at restoring a lasting peace and security in some troubled parts of the country,” Mr. Mba admonished.

Mr. Mba added that the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, also restated the Force’s commitment towards the partnership shared with the Nigeria Armed Forces in the fight against terrorism and enhancing the country’s security.

“The Police High Command recognizes the positive effect of such synergy with the Armed Forces and other Security Agencies which is essentially responsible for the tremendous results so far achieved. Today, peace and normalcy is gradually returning to the North-Eastern States of Borno, Yobe, Bauchi and Adamawa, courtesy of this robust collaboration,” Mr. Abubakar was quoted as saying.

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