America demands quick, transparent probe of Shi’ites, Army clash in Zaria

Barack Obama

President Barack Obama has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately probe the clash between the Nigerian Army and the Islamic Movement in Nigeria in Zaria on Saturday.

In a statement through its Embassy in Abuja on Wednesday, the United States government said it was deeply concerned about the clash, which resulted in the loss of several civilian lives.

The statement reads:

“The United States is deeply concerned by reports of violent clashes between members of the Nigerian Army and the Shiite group Islamic Movement of Nigeria in Zaria, Kaduna State over the past several days.

“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 fallout from the clash has since attracted international condemnation, with the Iranian government condemning the killing of the Shi’ite sect members by the army.

While that country’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, called on the Federal Government to take “prompt and serious” action on the matter, its representative in Nigeria has since been summoned back home for briefing.

Several members of the Shi’ite sect were killed when the army raided the area occupied by the sect in the northern part of Zaria in Kaduna State.

The leader of the group, Ibrahim Zakzaky, was arrested.

The army had accused the Movement of attempting to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, when members of the sect, who were conducting an annual ritual to usher in the month of Maulud, the birth month of the Prophet Mohammed, blocked the convoy of the army chief in Zaria.


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  • Your Biodun

    We are in a FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA where no individual or Organisation or Religious sect has a right to block a major road without proper authorization..I will support the FG on this one.We are in a war with Islamic terrorists.What do you expect??

    • Swagger

      I hope you’ll keep it this way the day the same military turns its guns on those you know. As Yoruba, if you truly are one, you should know a guy named Enitan Ransome Kuti. It’s all called injustice. It doesn’t have tribe or religion.

      • Your Biodun

        I agree with you that Injustice doesn’t have tribe or Religion.You need not remind me of many prominent Yorubas that have been unjustly put down..Corruption leads to injustice and injustice leads to anarchy..Let’s keep up the fight to kill corruption.Thats the root cause of the major problems in Nigeria..

        • So oju abe niko

          Thanks for being gracious to Swagger. Even if the Shias blocked the road illegally, the Army is not empowered to turn guns on civilians to the point of killing over 100 people, especially as they were unarmed, beyond rock-throwing. They did not only kill people at the point of the roadblock, they went in search of the Shias in at least 2 other locations where they were massacred. Indeed injustice to one is injustice to all,

      • Gabriel T

        Well said – No excuses for this sort of animal behaviour from the military. Rules of engagement my back side, they should take the rules of engagement to sambisa forest and shove it where the sun don’t shine. Bunch of wasters.

    • Michael

      I hope you’ll support the federal government if this same barbaric act by the NA turn tables to your family. You call unarmed people terrorists? mehn ! animals are far better than some MEN.

  • bigbang

    Demand?

    I blame Nigerian leaders. We need leaders like Awolowo.

  • bigbang

    This statements is kind of insulting. I think our foreign minister should respond and release the video of the incident to media.

  • Richplayer

    Anyone giving support to such force being used on unarmed men,women and children, definitely has links with the devil. Nigeria is evolving into an uncontrollable beast and people are turning against themselves. This was how the war in Rawanda and Burundi started. If you my Neighbour fail to speak out against religious persecution, because it is no affecting you, Well, Well!! When they finish with the Shiite, they just might come after you and by then, you will be standing alone, calling on your Neighbours, but by then it will be too late, as they would have killed them all.

  • joe

    Why did Buhari (sunnis) touched Obama’s immediate constituents,(Shi’ites )?.

  • Aba bello

    To Americans and the outside world; it seems the unarmed biafran protestors killed by Nigerian security forces are non or less of human beings to this Islamic violent Shi’ites

  • Olu from South Africa

    We all need to do what is needful. No body has a right to block roads without proper authorization and NA army has no right to kill unarmed people who pose no treat to whomever. This incident is unfortunate and should be condemned. It is high time we looked inward and started conducting ourselves in a proper way.