The Nigerian army has set of rules laid down for soldiers fighting in the northeast, so as to prevent any form of war crimes.
Sometimes some of these rules has put soldiers at a disadvantage against terrorist in their fight.
Below are rules of engagement for soldiers in the northeast.
1) Fire only when fired at otherwise do not engage:
This rule is to prevent soldiers from killing innocent civilians mistaking them for terrorist. Soldiers are not allowed to make first attack no matter what.
But sometimes terrorist are known to disguise as innocent civilians and attack the soldiers.
2) Without seeing a weapon do not engage:
Only a visible weapon can make soldiers fire at a suspected terrorist. Without a visible weapon in the hand of a supposed terrorist shooting at him will be considered as a war crime and will bring jail sentence to the culprit soldier.
This has on several occasions led to soldiers being attacked by suicide bombers. Suicide bombers do not need to carry any weapon before carrying out their evil act, since their major weapon(Explosive device) is hidden under their cloth.
3) An enemy that surrenders cannot be killed:
This rule has gotten some soldiers sent to jail or face outright dismissal from the army. The rules of engagement does not allow for the execution of captured terrorist.
Also this rule does not allow captured terrorist to be tortured.
4) Do not annihilate indigenes farms:
Soldiers in the northeast are prevented from destroying farms close to them. These farms are sometimes used as hideout for terrorist to launch an ambush against military convoy and formations.
This as on several occasions put soldiers at a disadvantage to.
These rules are what is used to guide the conduct of soldiers in the northeast.
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