Rivers Community Abandons Homes Amid Allegations of Military Brutality

Allegations of Harassment and Attacks

Some residents claimed they vacated their homes due to harassment and attacks by men in military uniform.

They believe the military’s actions escalated after a tragic incident on December 12, 2023, along the Ahoada/Abua East-West axis, where gunmen shot four soldiers and two drivers dead and kidnapped two expatriates.

Occupation and Suffering in the Bush

Allegedly, the Nigerian Army has occupied these communities, forcing residents into the bush, where they endure starvation and coexist with snakes and other reptiles.

An indigene, Bryan Honour, stated that the military’s invasion was in retaliation for the soldiers’ deaths, leading to attacks on innocent civilians.

Residents Speak: Beatings, Deaths, and Hunger

Bryan Honour highlighted the indiscriminate violence, stating that the military attacked the entire clan, resulting in beatings, deaths, and a dire humanitarian crisis.

Progress Ekomodi, a resident, described maltreatment by the uniformed men, forcing them to seek refuge in the bush, where they struggle to survive on palm kernels and water leaf.

Plea for Help: Starvation and Lack of Medical Care

Another resident, Beauty Ekom, pleaded for government intervention, stating that life in the bush has been a terrible experience.

Hunger, lack of medical care, and deaths due to these conditions are exacerbating the already dire situation. The residents, including children, are suffering, and urgent assistance is needed.

Military Denial: Seeking Perpetrators of Attack

The 6 Division, Nigeria Army Spokesperson, Jonah Danjuma, refuted the residents’ claims. He clarified that the troops were deployed to apprehend the gunmen responsible for the December 13, 2023, attack on soldiers.

Danjuma emphasized the military’s commitment to global best practices and dismissed allegations of harassment as baseless and unsubstantiated.

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