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Posts tagged ‘Borno’

Nigerian Army failed Jonathan despite all efforts; FG recruits’s forest guards to fight B’Haram.


 

The Federal Government has resorted to recruiting forest guards to assist the Joint Task Force in combating Boko Haram insurgents in the northern part of the country.
Most of the insurgents are believed to be using routes cutting through forests in states like Borno, Yobe, Taraba and Adamawa to smuggle arms into the country from Cameroon and other neighbouring countries.
The Conservator General of National Park Service, Mr. Haruna Abubakar, told the House of Representatives Committee on Environment on Monday that the guards would help the JTF to comb the forests for hideouts of insurgents.
Abubakar had appeared before the committee in Abuja to defend the 2014 budget of the agency.
The NPS had been classified as a para-military agency in January this year by the government.
According to Abubakar, the agency will rely on its knowledge of the country’s forest terrain to conduct sweeps with the military.
He informed the committee that the agency controlled seven national parks in the country, covering about 24,000- square kilometres of land.
Abubakar said, “The National Park Service has been playing a crucial role in intelligence gathering for the country’s military in the North-East and the forest bordering Chad and Cameroon.”
The committee, which is chaired by Mrs. Uche Ekwunife, stated that insurgents operated camps in forests like Sambisa, Mafa, Wulgo and Kirenowa, all in Borno State.
Sambisa forest camp which was said to have been first discovered during a military raid in 2013, covers an area of about 300-square kilometres.
The chairman of the committee expressed concern that besides the loss of human lives and property, Nigeria was losing revenue from tourism due to the activities of insurgents.
“We have to look inwards to find a way to protect our forests.
“It is regrettable that our forests have been turned into havens for insurgents,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Baptist Convention has appealed to Boko Haram sect to pursue the path of peace for Nigerians to live in harmony.
The sect destroyed Mainok village, about 50 kilometres to Maiduguri in Borno State and killed 39 people in its latest attack on Sunday.
During a press briefing organised by NBC on Monday in Ibadan, the President of the church in Nigeria, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, sympathised with the victims of the attack, adding that the church would maintain its stance against all forms of terrorism in the country.
Ayokunle called on the Federal Government to step up security in the northern part of the country.

 

(From Biafra Galaxy)

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U.S. releases damning human rights report about Nigeria.


 

“The most serious human rights abuses during the year were those committed by Boko Haram.”
A new report by the United States has described Nigeria as a country where corruption, official impunity, and gross human rights violations occur at will.
The report described the human rights violations to include extra-judicial killings, rape, torture, mistreatment of detainees, destruction of property, violence against women, vigilante killings, child labour, forced and bonded labour, and discrimination based on sexual orientation.
This assessment of Nigeria is according to the 2013 Country Report on Human Rights. The report, which is now in its 38th year, is sanctioned by the U.S. Congress. It, amongst other things, helps inform the U.S. government policy and foreign assistance.
According to the report, the terrorist group, Boko Haram, and the Nigerian Government are the worst perpetrators of human rights abuses in the country.
“The most serious human rights abuses during the year were those committed by Boko Haram, which conducted killings, bombings, abduction and rape of women, and other attacks throughout the country, resulting in numerous deaths, injuries, and widespread destruction of property; those committed by security services, which perpetrated extrajudicial killings, torture, rape, beatings, arbitrary detention, mistreatment of detainees, and destruction of property; and widespread societal violence, including ethnic, regional, and religious violence,” the report said.
The report came hard on the Goodluck Jonathan administration for institutionalising impunity with the state pardon granted to serial money launderer and former governor of Bayelsa State, Dipreye Alamieyeseigha. It also said the Nigeria government has displayed no willingness to prosecute soldiers and police officers accused of gross human rights violations.
The report makes specific reference to the refusal of the government to prosecute members of the armed forces found to have perpetrated extrajudicial killing and torture in clear disregard of the recommendation of The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Committee against Torture.
“During the year joint task forces (JTFs), composed of elements of the military, police, and other security services, conducted raids on militant groups and criminal suspects in the states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kano, Kaduna, Kogi, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Katsina, Jigawa, and Yobe. These raids resulted in numerous deaths of and injuries to alleged criminals, militants, and civilians. Local NGOs, international human rights groups, and political and traditional leaders in the affected states accused the security services of indiscriminate and extrajudicial killings.
“The national police, army, and other security forces committed extrajudicial killings and used lethal and excessive force to apprehend criminals and suspects as well as to disperse protesters. Authorities generally did not hold police accountable for the use of excessive or deadly force or for the deaths of persons in custody. The reports of state or federal panels of inquiry investigating suspicious deaths remained unpublished.”
Inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment
The report frowned at the technique of “parading” of suspects commonly used by the police. It observed that most of those paraded are subjected to public ridicule or abuse.
“Police commonly used a technique called “parading” of arrestees. Parading involved literally walking arrestees through public spaces, subjecting them to public ridicule and abuse.
“Bystanders often hurled taunts, food, and other objects. Police defended this practice with the argument that public humiliation helped deter crime,” it said.
It further observed that police flagrantly extort money from civilians and in blatant violation of the law. They use torture to extract confessions from suspects, which are later used to secure convictions in court.
The report indicts the police of rape and other sexual offences of women in their custody. In one example in Abraka in Delta State, in March 2013, a woman said four men raped her while she was in police custody. She said the police had put her in the same cell as the men. She accused the police of failing to help her. According to her, the investigating police office told her to keep quiet about the incident.
Over-crowded and disease-infested prisons
The report described a horrid condition of the country’s prison. It said the prisons are mostly over-crowded and in such deplorable states that they provide fertile breeding grounds for communicable disease. It said prisoners are poorly fed and their health neglected.
For instance, it observed that inmates with mental illness are kept among the general population. Prison warders are also accused of widespread torture, extortions, and sexual abuses such as rape of female inmates.
“Prison and detention center conditions remained harsh and life threatening. Prisoners, a majority of whom had not been tried, were subject to extrajudicial execution, torture, gross overcrowding, food and water shortages, inadequate medical treatment, deliberate and incidental exposure to heat and sun, and infrastructure deficiencies that led to wholly inadequate sanitary conditions and could result in death.”
“Reports indicated guards and prison officials extorted inmates or levied fees on them to pay for food, prison maintenance, and prisoner release. In some cases female inmates faced the threat of rape. Female prisoners pregnant at the time of incarceration gave birth to and raised their babies in prison,” it added.
“Overcrowding was a significant problem in some prisons. Although national capacity stood at 47,284, an imbalance in the use of prisons resulted in underutilization at some facilities, while others were at more than 800 percent of their designed capacity. For example, the Owerri Federal Prison had the capacity to hold 548 prisoners but held more than 1,784. Ogwuashi-Uku prison in Delta State, with a capacity to house 64 prisoners, housed 541, while Port Harcourt prison, with a capacity to hold 804, held 2,955. Ijebu-Ode prison in Lagos, with a capacity to hold 49 prisoners, held 309,” it continued.
“Although the law prohibits the imprisonment of children, minors–many of whom were born there–lived in the prisons. A 2006 report on the rights and welfare of children from the Federal Ministry of Women’s Affairs to the African Union found an estimated 6,000 children lived in prisons and detention centers. The Nigerian Prison Service reported, however, that as of March, 69 infants resided in prison with their mothers while 847 juvenile inmates were detained in juvenile detention centers.”
Freedom of Speech
The report observed that though the freedom of speech and a free press are guaranteed by the constitution, high-handed security and government officials still occasionally harass journalists.
The report made a case in point of the December 2012 raid of the homes and offices of the editor Musa Muhammad Awwal and reporter Aliyu Saleh of the Hausa-language weekly newspaper Al-Mizan, confiscating their phones and laptops as well as detaining the journalists and their wives.
“Politicians and political parties harassed and attacked journalists perceived as reporting on them or their interests in a negative manner. For example, on April 8, authorities in Abuja detained two reporters for Leadership Newspaper, Tony Amokeodo and Chibuzor Ukaibe, following the publication on April 3 of an article alleging that President Jonathan had ordered the disruption of operations of his political opponents. Authorities charged the two men with “vexatious publication.” All charges were later dropped.
“Journalists also were at risk of abduction. For example, in March assailants in Ondo State abducted a Nigeria Television Authority journalist, Olubunmi Oke, as she arrived home from work with her infant child and maid. The child and maid were later released. Media reports stated that the assailants had demanded an eight million naira ($50,240) ransom. Oke was freed after three days, following the payment of an undisclosed ransom.
Nicholas Ibekwe
(From Biafra Galaxy)

Churches Cancel Christmas Night Services In Borno, Yobe States.


by SaharaReporters, New York

SaharaReporters has gathered that churches in Borno and Yobe States, fearing Boko Haram violence, today cancelled Christmas Eve night services.

The situation is said to be the same in some military and police barracks, where activities are highly restricted.

Rev. Yakubu Ibrahim, a Christian leader in the troubled North-East of Nigeria, the hotbed of the Boko Haram insurgency, confirmed the service cancellation to our reporter by telephone from Maiduguri.

“We have decided not to hold our service because of security challenges and cancelled night Church service because our security cannot be guaranteed.
Few Christmases back we had similar experiences where our members were killed, some even during service in the morning. With the present situation, it is not possible.

“Our members are scared and so we cannot take chances. Presently we are in a very terrible situation; many of our people have been abducted and killed. And so we are just surviving by the grace of God pending when we will overcome this persecution.”

Another clergy in Yobe State, Pastor Audu Tanko, described the same situation.

“We are in our homes and will only hold service in the morning but [have] cancelled Christmas night service of songs,” he said.  “It is not our wish but we have no choice.”

Military sources in both Maiduguri and Damaturu said the security situation has not normalized as is being claimed.  They told us that troops of both the Air Force and the Army are still been deployed in view of Boko Haram’s sophistication and well-coordinated attacks, citing the example of the assault of December 2, 2013.

Boko Haram attack Borno barracks again, several Women And Children Killed.


boko haram carnage

A group of Boko Haram militants on Friday attacked the 202 Army Battalion Barracks located in Bama, about 40 kilometers outside Maiduguri town, and killed several women and children.
The Islamic sect, according to a source in the barracks, struck around 3am local time, firing heavy arms and ammunition.Our source, a soldier, said that troops of the Nigerian Army and Air Force repelled the sect using fierce air and ground attacks, resulting in the killing of many of the terrorists.He explained that some soldiers in the barracks lost their wives, children and relatives in the fight, which lasted until about 7am, during which time the sound of explosives and guns filled the air.
“There was an attack on the military barracks in (the town) of Bama this morning,” said Mohammed Dole, army spokesman in Borno state, the epicentre of the Boko Haram conflict.He declined to comment on details provided by several Bama residents who said dozens, or perhaps even hundreds, of insurgents swarmed the barracks in a convoy of 4X4 trucks, armed with assault rifles, explosives and rocket-propelled-grenades.”It started at around three in the morning with huge explosions and the cracking of gunfire,” said Bama resident Abdullahi Idris. “Later we saw plumes of smoke and fire from the barracks.”Bama has become a flashpoint in the insurgency and the scene of several bold Islamist attacks. One of the Islamist rebels’ largest-ever strikes targeted the military in Bama in June.According to Idris and other residents, military jets flew over the town after the attack.
The nearest air force base is in Borno’s capital Maiduguri, roughly 70 kilometres (44 miles) from Bama.”A large section of the barracks” had been destroyed by fire, said another resident who asked for anonymity but identified himself as a member of the vigilante force which has formed in Borno to fight the Islamists.He told newsmen that fighter jets dropped bombs on the attackers, forcing them to flee.
Residents and Dole offered no estimates of casualties.Borno and two other parts of Nigeria‘s northeast were placed under a state of emergency in May.The military operation launched in the region to crush the uprising has entered its eighth month but its effectiveness has been widely questioned.Defence officials have claimed Boko Haram is now only capable of attacking soft targets, but Friday’s raid in Bama, which came after a December 2 assault on the army and air force in Maiduguri, indicates the insurgents are still capable of daring offensive attack.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Maiduguri International Airport Closed After Boko Haram Terrorist Raid On Air Force Base.


maiduguri international-airport

Operations at the Maiduguri International Airport have been suspended and the Joint Task Force

has taken over the airport following a raid on nearby military units by Boko Haram.

Residents of Maiduguri said the Islamist militant sect attacked the Nigerian Air Force base in the early hours of today in attempt to overrun the entire city of Maiduguri. About 300 militants were reported to have arrived in pickup trucks with heavy weaponry

Several explosives were hauled at the base but Air Force personnel reportedly repelled the militants, killing several of them.

There is no word on casualties on the side of the military. Mobile telephone lines have been shut down since President Goodluck Jonathan imposed a state of emergency on three states, including Borno, in May.

A spokesperson for the ministry of Aviation, Yakubu Datti confirmed the closure of the airport to SaharaReporters, but he denied the airport was affected in the attack.

Similarly, SaharaReporters can exclusively reports that negligence on security measures advised following Boko Haram renewed insurgency is one of the reasons that largely made today’s attack possible by the sect.

The Nigerian military despite its denial are fighting the Boko Haram sect with obsolete weapons that are less inferior to that of the sect’s sophistication, and also poorly remuneration for the troops on the war front.

A military source confirmed that for over month, both the Federal Government and the higher military command have been advised on the need to station detachment of counter-terrorist troops around Sahara Desert with sole aim of crushing Boko Haram Islamic sect in view of the sect penetration in Nigeria through several borders with Niger Republic, Cameroon and Chad.

Yobe state, which is second stronghold of the sect, also had international borders with Zinder and Diffa regions of Niger Republic.

The formation of a military base, according to the source remained most viable option in containing the increasingly strength of the sect, who are getting training, support and other logistic support in the un-policed deserts that stretch from Algeria and Mauritania up to Niger and Chad.

The source who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “It has become imperative for us to submit our candid position as military with sole responsibility of preserving Nigeria’s sovereignty. The terrorists find their way into Borno and Yobe via our porous borders. And their main planning and training is in the desert, afterwards they sneak into their camps inside Nigeria and so instead of waiting, we are proposing that we have full military base in the desert that would comprise both land and air operations.

“This is our submission to the government; it is dangerous waiting for them. They are becoming more sophisticated and organize by the day, and so we must move forward. Their trainees and those providing them with logistics are right inside the desert between Niger Republic and Chad.”, the source said.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Partial Telecoms Restored In Maiduguri, Military Source Says.


 

By SaharaReporters, New York

A military source told SaharaReporters a short while ago that partial telecommunications services have been restored to Maiduguri, Borno State, where the Boko Haram sect attacked military facilities yesterday.
The source specified that only MTN services are currently available and that some residents are able to make calls, but with some difficulties.

He also said that text messages are currently easier to communicate with than phone calls as some of the telecoms facilities were destroyed by the Boko Haram sect.

Telecommunication services were suspended in May when President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States.

Maiduguri International Airport Closed After Boko Haram Raid On Air Force Base.


 

By Saharareporters, New York

Operations at the Maiduguri International Airport have been suspended and the Joint Task Force has taken over the airport following a raid on nearby military units by Boko Haram.

Residents of Maiduguri said the Islamist militant sect attacked the Nigerian Air Force base in the early hours of today in attempt to overrun the entire city of Maiduguri.  About 300 militants were reported to have arrived in pickup trucks with heavy weaponry

Several explosives were hauled at the base but Air Force personnel reportedly repelled the militants, killing several of them.

There is no word on casualties on the side of the military. Mobile telephone lines have been shut down since President Goodluck Jonathan imposed a state of emergency on three states, including Borno, in May.

A spokesperson for the ministry of Aviation, Yakubu Datti confirmed the closure of the airport to SaharaReporters, but he denied the airport was affected in the attack.

Similarly, SaharaReporters can exclusively reports that negligence on security measures advised following Boko Haram renewed insurgency is one of the reasons that largely made today’s attack possible by the sect.

The Nigerian military despite its denial are fighting the Boko Haram sect with obsolete weapons that are less inferior to that of the sect’s sophistication, and also poorly remuneration for the troops on the war front.

A military source confirmed that for over month, both the Federal Government and the higher military command have been advised on the need to station detachment of counter-terrorist troops around Sahara Desert with sole aim of crushing Boko Haram Islamic sect in view of the sect penetration in Nigeria through several borders with Niger Republic, Cameroon and Chad.

Yobe state, which is second stronghold of the sect, also had international borders with Zinder and Diffa regions of Niger Republic.

The formation of a military base, according to the source remained most viable option in containing the increasingly strength of the sect, who are getting training, support and other logistic support in the un-policed deserts that stretch from Algeria and Mauritania up to Niger and Chad.

The source who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “It has become imperative for us to submit our candid position as military with sole responsibility of preserving Nigeria’s sovereignty. The terrorists find their way into Borno and Yobe via our porous borders. And their main planning and training is in the desert, afterwards they sneak into their camps inside Nigeria and so instead of waiting, we are proposing that we have full military base in the desert that would comprise both land and air operations.

“This is our submission to the government; it is dangerous waiting for them. They are becoming more sophisticated and organize by the day, and so we must move forward. Their trainees and those providing them with logistics are right inside the desert between Niger Republic and Chad.”, the source said.

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