Trump's Incendiary Rhetoric Emboldens Nigerian Military

Erika Holt
November 4, 2018

In a tweet, which appears to have been taken down, the army posted a video of Trump's anti-migrant speech in which he said rocks would be considered firearms if thrown toward soldiers at the US border, according to the BBC and The New York Times.

Along with the clip, the Nigerian army posted the caption: "Please watch and make your deductions". During those clashes, soldiers killed almost 350 members of the group, which organizes frequent religious treks and protest marches.

In the wake of the deadly violence earlier this week, the USA embassy in Abuja urged the Nigerian government to "conduct a thorough investigation of the events and to take appropriate action to hold accountable those responsible for violations of Nigerian law". He also said the United States military is trained to fight back against anyone in the migrant caravan who throw rocks at soldiers. We are not going to put up with that.

"They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back", Trump told another reporter at the news conference. The military did not return calls seeking comment on the deleted tweet.

"The video was posted in reaction to the Amnesty International report accusing the army of using weapons against pacifist Shiite protesters", said Agim.

"It seems the Nigerian military are deliberately using tactics created to kill when dealing with IMN gatherings".

Agim said if David could kill Goliath with a stone, stones should be considered as weapons.

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The number of Shia Muslim protesters killed by Nigeria's army in the capital, Abuja, in clashes which began at the weekend, has not been independently verified.

IMN leader Ibrahim Zakzaky has been in custody since 2015, when an army crackdown killed 300 of his supporters who were buried in mass graves, according to rights groups. Rather than engaging in a preposterous competition over who does a better job of violating human rights, the Nigerian government must hold its security forces accountable for the horrific killing of at least 45 peaceful protestors.

According to the Times, videos posted to social media did show some protesters throwing rocks before being shot in the back as they ran away.

The Nigerian military said three protesters were killed, but the toll appears to have been much higher.

The Nigerian Army has defended its use of fire power in the wake of attacks from protesters in the capital, Abuja.

Nigeria, Africa's largest economy, is split between a mostly Muslim north and a largely Christian south. Boko Haram, the Islamist extremist group, labels Shia as "heretics" and demands that they be killed.

In Nigeria, Trump is a popular figure among many people who praise what they regard as his straightforwardness and frank talk despite his reported insult to the nation previous year when he said Nigerians in the United States would never "go back to their huts" in Africa.

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