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Nigerian Army embraces Trump's words to justify killing protesters

Nigerian Army embraces Trump's words to justify killing protesters

The Nigerian army cited a video of Donald Trump to justify opening fire on a to justify its fatal shootings of rock-throwing protesters this week.

The army had earlier on Friday posted a video clip of Trump's directive to his country's military where he said they should consider stones thrown at them by asylum-seeking migrants as rifles.

On Friday, the official Twitter account of the Nigerian Army tweeted out a video of Trump's remarks from Thursday along with the caption, "Please Watch and Make your Deductions". He also said the U.S. military is trained to fight back against anyone in the migrant caravan who throw rocks at soldiers.

"What I don't want is - I don't want these people throwing rocks", the president said, adding that if migrants throw rocks at troops there are "going to be problems".

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The tweet was posted just days after clashes between Nigerian soldiers and Shia Muslims once again turned deadly.

"Both the United States and the Nigerian governments must abide by worldwide human rights law and standards". An Amnesty International report published Wednesday said 45 peaceful supporters of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) were killed by the Nigerian military and police.

The U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria issued a statement Thursday expressing concern about the "deaths resulting from clashes between Nigerian security forces and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria".

The police arrested 400 IMN members on Tuesday for engaging in a violent protest and for setting ablaze a police patrol vehicle parked in front of a shopping mall on Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja.

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But a spokesman for the Nigerian army says their decision to fire live rounds at protesters in Abuja was justified because they were armed, telling the BBC "this is what [Mr] Trump was talking about". Despite not being a traditional ally of the U.S., the Nigerian military is taking notice and following suit. His recent inflammatory statements, made days before the USA midterm elections, have clearly been seized upon by some in the Nigerian military as an abusive new standard to which they would like to adhere.

The country's defense spokesperson John Agim told AFP that the message was sent out in response to Amnesty International's report which lambasted the army's use of firepower against Shia protestors.

"We released that video to say if President Trump can say that rocks are as good as a rifle, who is Amnesty International?" a Nigerian Army spokesman said. What did David use to kill Goliath?

Soldiers had arrived to assist police, a news release said, and were met with protesters who threw canisters of fuel, "large stones, catapults with risky objects and other unsafe items".

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Osai Ojigho, Executive Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, said: "Basic human rights are not subject to whims of the world's leaders".