Speaking to reporters at the American Corner in Calabar today, U.S. Ambassador James Entwistle noted the U.S. government’s deep concern over reports of violent clashes during the past several days between members of the Nigerian Army and the Shiite group Islamic Movement of Nigeria in Zaria, Kaduna State.
He said that while many details of the incidents that reportedly began on December 12 remain unclear, “we are dismayed to learn of multiple civilian deaths. It is essential that all sides refrain from actions that further destabilize the situation.”
Noting Interior Minister Abdulrahman Dambazau’s trip to Zaria yesterday, the Ambassador said, “Speaking as a friend of Nigeria, I’m sure Minister Dambazau’s trip to Zaria was the first step in the timely, transparent investigation to which I’m sure Mr. President and his administration are committed.”