The Nigerian army posted — then later deleted — a video on Twitter of President Donald Trump bashing the migrant caravan heading north through Mexico. The post was apparently an attempt to justify the military’s deadly crackdown on protesters in the West African nation.
The army tweeted the section of Trump’s press conference Thursday when the president said that if migrants in the caravan throw rocks, American troops stationed at the border should “consider it a rifle.” He added: “They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back.”
The Nigerian army tweet said: “Please watch and make your deductions.”
Amnesty International has accused the Nigerian army of fatally shooting some 45 peaceful Shiite Muslim protesters in demonstrations that began last weekend. The army is claiming it killed only six, and that they were armed. Videos of the confrontations show the military opening fire as protesters hurl rocks, and shooting many of the fleeing demonstrators in the back, The New York Times reported.
Sickening. Under scrutiny from human rights orgs for firing on a crowd of protesters, the Nigerian Army tweets Trump from yesterday telling US troops that any migrants throwing rocks should be handled as if they are armed with “a rifle” 1/2 pic.twitter.com/2udS9fgAhm— Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower) November 2, 2018
Many took Trump’s comments to mean that he would consider troops justified in firing on immigrants throwing rocks
A spokesman for the Nigerian army told the BBC: “This is what Trump was talking about.” He said the army’s decision to fire on protesters was justified because they were armed.
But Trump said Saturday that he only meant immigrants throwing rocks would be arrested. As for the troops faced with rock-throwers, “they don’t have to fire,” he added.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.