Nigerian Army Uses Trump Words to Defend Shootings

Soldiers fired on rock-throwing protesters
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2018 1:30 PM CDT
Nigerian Army Uses Trump Speech to Defend Actions
Nigerian soldiers march during 58th anniversary celebrations of Nigerian independence, in Abuja, Nigeria, Monday, Oct. 1, 2018.   (AP Photo/Olamikan Gbemiga)

(Newser) – Earlier this week, Amnesty International condemned the Nigerian army for firing on protesters during a march in the capital. Now the army is using comments by President Trump to argue that the soldiers were within their rights to do so, reports the New York Times. The army's reference is to Trump saying US troops could fire on rock-throwing migrants because he considers rocks to be weapons. The Nigerian army released a video of Trump saying that, and a spokesman elaborated: “We released that video to say if President Trump can say that rocks are as good as a rifle, who is Amnesty International?” he said. “What are they then saying? What did David use to kill Goliath? So a stone is a weapon.”

The army says its soldiers fired in self-defense and killed just a handful of demonstrators, but Amnesty International says more than 40 Shiite Muslims were shot to death, reports Bloomberg. “Our soldiers sustained injuries,” said the army spokesman. “The Shiites even burnt one of our vehicles, so what are Amnesty International saying?” A spokesman for the protesters doesn't deny that some threw rocks. But “rocks are not equal to bullets,” he says. “The use of force is disproportionate. I don’t think President Trump is a good example." (Trump also took criticism for tweeting this video about immigration.)

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