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Biafra Government Petitions African Commission Over Nnamdi Kanu’s Detention

The Biafra Republic Government in Exile (BRGIE) has submitted a petition to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. This commission, part of the African Union, is located in Banjul, Gambia. The petition addresses the ongoing detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), by the Nigerian government. BRGIE also announced its intention to restore the independent state of Biafra.

Jonathan Levy, a lawyer for BRGIE and an international legal consultant, revealed this information during an online press briefing on Friday.

This development comes as Nigeria’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, has dismissed the possibility of resolving Kanu’s case through diplomatic means. Fagbemi emphasized that only the courts would decide the fate of the IPOB leader.

Simon Ekpa, who heads BRGIE, is requesting that the African Commission appoint a Special Rapporteur to investigate alleged economic and human rights abuses in Southeastern Nigeria. The BRGIE argues that the region is in a state of near-armed conflict, citing their “Sit at Home” civil disobedience campaign and the continued detention of Kanu and other pro-Biafra supporters.

“The Commission is asked to take jurisdiction over the matter of Biafra on an urgent basis owing to the state of near armed conflict in the region; the BRGIE Sit at Home civil disobedience campaign and the continued unlawful detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and pro-Biafra supporters,” the BRGIE stated.

BRGIE also informed the Commission about an ongoing Biafra Referendum, which is set to conclude at the end of November 2024. This referendum is expected to lead to the declaration of Biafra’s independence, necessitating a swift transition to a new government.

“The BRGIE has advised the Commission and Nigeria that despite its best efforts to prevent civil strife and bloodshed, the legitimate rights of the Biafran people to self-determination shall no longer be thwarted by Nigeria’s security operatives,” the statement continued.

The African Commission acknowledged the receipt of the petition in a letter dated May 23, 2024, addressing BRGIE’s concerns.

Earlier this month, BRGIE condemned an alleged attack by Nigerian security forces on the Igga community in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State. According to reports, security operatives burned down the community, resulting in several deaths. This attack was reportedly in retaliation for the killing of two policemen and three members of the Enugu State Neighbourhood Watch Group by unidentified assailants.

In response to the incident, BRGIE described the security forces’ actions as acts of terrorism and human rights abuses. They called for international attention to the situation in Southeastern Nigeria, highlighting the suffering of the local population and the urgent need for intervention.

The tension in Southeastern Nigeria continues to escalate as pro-Biafra supporters push for independence. The situation remains volatile, with frequent clashes between security forces and local communities. The BRGIE’s petition to the African Commission underscores the severity of the conflict and the desire for a peaceful resolution that respects the rights of the Biafran people.

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