ON OPERATION PYTHON DANCE 3 AND DETENTION OF 112 INDIGENOUS WOMEN OF BIAFRA

The CACLD is watching with serious concern the most recent arrest and detention by the Nigerian Police of 112 indigenous women of Biafra (IPOB) who assembled to demand the release of their sons and leader Nnamdi kanu and his parents. As an international organization, the CACLD views the right of indigenous people as inviolable under the charters of the United Nation and African Union to which Nigeria is a signatory. It is within this context that the arrests and mistreatment of these indigenous women, some of who are pregnant and elderly would remain condemnable and noteworthy as a violation of their rights to freedom of assembly and freedom to chose their economic and political future under international law. We therefore call on the Nigerian government to release these women without further delay.

While we affirm that the Nigerian Military has a right to exercise military duties in Nigeria as commanded by its Commander in Chief, President Buhari, we must caution seriously that such duties must be carried out in keeping with internationally acceptable protocols and rules of engagement. The conduct of military exercises in civilian spaces are never sanctioned under any Nigerian law except in such circumstances in which in the judgement of the National Assembly, there is an insurrection that needed to be addressed. In the case of the recent operation python dance 3 as being anticipated, there has never been such a declaration by the Nigerian National Assembly. Hence, we advise the Nigerian Army to limit its activities to their barracks and to such designated spaces as to guarantee that civilians neither feel threatened, traumatized or physically endangered by the conduct of such military operations. Some of the roles anticipated of Python Dance three clearly falls within the jurisdiction of the police and this places a high moral burden on the Nigeria army should there be any casualty arising from this premeditated usurpation of the constitutional role of the police, specially in the communities of Igboland adjudged by the international community as the most peaceful and safest places in Nigeria. We urge the Nigerian government to allow the police and the Army to do its work without pitching their roles against the other as such actions undermine the constitution and orderliness of society.

As an international organization committed to Human Rights, Good Governance and inter-ethnic peace, we identify with the position of world governments that IPOB is not a terrorist organization. Hence, we call on the Nigerian government to initiate negotiations with the IPOB as well as urge the IPOB to maintain peace in its activities and in keeping with international laws on the rights of free citizens and indigenous peoples.

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22- Python Dance 3 and 112 Women