The U.S. military on Tuesday has called for an independent investigation of allegations levelled against the Nigerian army for killing children in its fight against the Boko Haram insurgents.
Reports from Reuters, one of the largest news agencies in the world claims that top army commanders allegedly ordered soldiers to “delete” children born to insurgents.
According to the report, the order was issued “because the children were assumed to be collaborating with militants in Boko Haram or its Islamic State offshoot, or to have inherited the tainted blood of insurgent fathers”.
“The Department of Defense is concerned by the allegations reported in the Reuters article, and we join our colleagues from the State Department in urging the Government of Nigeria to conduct an independent investigation,” a Pentagon spokesperson, John Kirby said in a statement.
The spokesperson added that the U.S. military had no planned or scheduled meetings with the Nigerian armed forces or leadership at this week’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit.
The Nigerian army has since denied every allegation made by Reuters.
Director, Defence Information, Nigerian Army, Major-General Jimmy Akpor in a statement condemned the allegations, insisting that the Nigerian military “has never and would never” target children during its counterinsurgency operations or other operations, both within and outside Nigeria.