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Posts tagged ‘Nigerian Army’

United Nations High Commission for Refugees57,000 Nigerians now refugees.


 

Despite  the fact that Nigeria is not at war, Nigerians are now refugees in neighbouring countries as more than 57,000 people have fled to Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic as a result of insurgency by Boko Haram, according to the United Nations.

The world body also disclosed that about half a million people have been internally displaced in the country which it described as a very alarming situation.

Spokesperson of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR, Mr Adrian Edwards, who spoke with reporters in Geneva said of 57,000 people who fled Nigeria, 17,000 are registered as Nigerians while the rest are nationals from neighbouring countries who have

been living in Nigeria for ages.
He disclosed that Niger received the majority — some 40,000 concentrated in the Diffa region, a desert in the country’s eastern edge.

According to him, many of those fleeing North-Eastern Nigeria are traumatized and left with very few possessions, adding that besides the Lake Chad area, some of the new arrivals are from the Borno State capital, Maiduguri.

57,000 flee to Cameroon,  Chad, Niger

He said: “Since Nigeria declared a state of emergency in the three states in May 2013, more than 57,000 people have fled to Cameroon, Chad and Niger. Some 17,000 of these are registered Nigerian refugees. The rest are nationals of the surrounding countries who had been living in Nigeria for decades.”

Edwards noted that newly arrived refugees interviewed by the staff of the UNHCR in Niger have spoken of atrocities on the shores of Lake Chad in Borno State.

According to him, “One woman described corpses strewn through houses and floating in the water. She said people feared staying even to bury their dead or find missing relatives. Others recounted fleeing a village shooting incident and said women and children were being kidnapped and taken away by unidentified assailants.

“We’ve had some other accounts of shooting in villages there with women and children being kidnapped and taken away. So, it’s really a spreading of this horrible conflict we’re seeing outside of the towns and into some of the rural areas of North-East Nigeria.

“It’s hard for us to get full visibility of the situation inside North-East Nigeria, simply because we don’t have the access. And you have to remember that in addition to people fleeing Nigeria, you have got close to half a million people internally displaced inside the country. And that’s according to the government’s figures. So, these are really very high numbers and reflects what seems to be a very alarming situation.

2,000 people cross to Niger

“The latest attacks are reported to have begun in mid‑February and were continuing five days ago. In all, some 2,000 people have crossed into south‑east Niger’s Diffa region over the past four weeks.

“In addition to the attacks on Lake Chad, some of the new arrivals have come from areas near Borno’s state capital, Maiduguri, that have been affected by fighting.”

He maintained that the UNHCR reiterates to all parties to the conflict in north‑eastern Nigeria, the vital importance of protecting civilians from harm.

He said the UNHCR was working with partners, including the International Rescue Committee, the governments of the neighbouring countries, to try and ensure that countries keep their borders open and also ensure that they help people on arrival.

Wounded Boko Haram members captured —DHq

Meanwhile, following military bombardments of Boko Haram terrorists by the Nigerian Army using artillery fire and infantry soldiers swooping on their camps, scores of the insurgents have been captured as they attempted to flee across the borders through Lake Chad and Cameroon as well as Niger.

Vanguard gathered that the bombardment was jointly carried out by the Nigerian Air Force using Mi‑35 helicopter gunships while the army launched its offensive from the ground.

A statement signed by the Director of Defence Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade said: “Scores of wounded terrorists who escaped from various camps under the fire of security forces have been captured in the fringes of Lake Chad.

“The captured terrorists, some of whom are fatally wounded, are already making useful statements to interrogators of the Multi‑National Joint Task Force.

“Others were captured by troops in locations around Dikwa, Cross Kauwa, Kukawa and Alargarmo.

“In their confessions, it was revealed that some of the camps have been disbanded following the directive of their clerics who declared that the operation of the sect had come to an end as the mission could no longer be sustained.

“The terrorists, who are giving useful information as to the locations of their remnant forces, are full of apologies and pleas for their lives to be spared, promising to cooperate.

Starvation major problem

“They confirmed that starvation was a major problem in addition to ceaseless bombardments on the camp locations even when they kept relocating.

“They also confirm that several members of the group have been wounded and no treatment was forth coming. Troops have continued their assault on other locations across the states covered by the state of emergency.

“Meanwhile, members of the public who have started visiting to engage in sight seeing in some dislodged camps and fringes of  forests such as Sambisa and others have been warned to desist from doing so as the tendency will no more be condoned where operations are still ongoing.

“The general area still remains a theatre and movement remains restricted as the environment has to be cleared for safety of citizens.The public will be informed when the locations are safe enough.”

BY MICHAEL EBOH & EDIRI EJOH

Source: Radio Biafra.

Few Hours After Nigerian Government Claims It Was Winning The War Against Terrorism, Islamist Militants Boko Haram Attack Bama Again.


 

By SaharaReporters, New York

Few hours after an aide to President Goodluck Jonathan’s aide boasted that Nigerian military is better equipped and motivated to fight Boko Haram militants, the sect has launched another brazen attack on Bama township killing several people.

Dr. Doyin  Okupe was countering the Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, that the militant were having the upper hand in decimating towns and villages in the northeast region.

Although details are still sketchy credible military sources confirmed the attacks and that hundreds of residents are presently fleeing the town after the sect launched an attack around 3 AM. The sect had been attacking villages and towns in Borno and Adamawa states despite the state of emergency declared by President Jonathan.

Okupe had on Tuesday while disagreeing with Gov. Shettima’s outcry that Boko Haram were better armed and motivated than the Nigerian military.

After leaving a meeting with President Jonathan in Abuja yesterday, Governor Shettima spoke frankly to state house reporters dismissing the fact that the military was winning the war against Boko Haram.

Soldiers, Policemen At War In Aba.


 

army police

Hell was let loose on Monday evening in Aba, Abia state as more than fifty
soldiers invaded the Aba Area Command of the Police threatening to burn
down the station if they did not produce a policeman who allegedly slapped
their colleague.

Trouble started when a policeman in company of his pregnant wife who is
also a police officer, rammed their Mercedes Benz car into another car
driven by a man in mufti later identified as Captain Abubakar who was also
in company of his colleague.

According to eyewitness accounts, the soldiers got out of their car
demanding to know why the policeman hit their car. The situation was said
to have led to an exchange of words between both parties with one of the
soldiers landing a slap on the policemen.

Angered by the action, the policeman returned the slap while the soldier
pulled a gun threatening to shoot but was held back by the wife of the
policeman who insisted that they be shot together.

The exchange which held up traffic at the Jubilee road junction near the
old site of the Abia State University Teaching Hospital(ABSUTH), a
shouting distance from the Aba Area Command, attracted some policemen who
ran back to inform their colleague about the development.

Another group of Policemen converged at the scene pleading with the
soldiers to let go of the incident since both parties should work
together. But unknown to them, one of the soldiers had contacted their
colleagues who stormed with area with an Armoured personnel Carrier
(APC)and five Hilux jeeps.
On arriving at the gate of the Aba Area Command, the angry soldiers
started beating anyone they on sight, including policemen. Even shop
owners and passersby were not spared as they were horse whipped.

The policemen who ran for cover were said to have been embarrassed when
their colleague simply identified as DSP Rotimi was stabbed on his head
and hands. The policemen ran into the Area Command and brought out guns
even as another Hilux jeep filled with soldiers landed at the area.
Rotimi was said to be discussing with an Army captain on how to settle the
matter when a soldier pulled a dagger and stabbed his hand and head.

The situation further enraged policemen who also brought out their own
APC, blocked the gate of their premises and started shooting tear gas.
Some of them went into the premises and returned with guns, threatening to
return fire for fire.

The incident which lasted more than two hours would have degenerated but
for the intervention of the Aba Area Commander, ACP Tunde Mobayo who
rushed back to the Command to douse the situation. Sources hinted that the
erstwhile Area Commander in Aba, ACP Rabiu Dayi who is on transfer to Edo
state Command was contacted to help douse the situation. Dayi was said to
have contacted some of the soldiers he worked with at Aba, some of whom
expressed surprise that he didn’t inform them that he has gone on
transfer.

A policeman who spoke on the condition of anonymity told
Pointblanknews.com that one of the irate soldiers almost attacked the Area
Commander who was on mufti, but was stopped by his colleague who
identified the former.

Sources said a senior police officer also contacted one Major Bello who
serves as the head of the Army Unit at Ngwa road, Aba who also stormed the
scene and pulled out his men who threatened to burn down the offices of
the Aba Area Command unless they produce the officer who slapped their
colleague.

“We are not happy that soldiers will attack us at every opportunity, even
when their colleague was the wrong party. How can they attack us at our
office every time? We refused to be intimidated, that is why we stood up
to them. It would have been deaths on both sides if they crossed our
gate,” a cross section of MOPOL men told Pointblanknews.com

When the fracas died down, not less than 2 policemen and 5 shop owners and
passersby sustained injuries inflicted on them by soldiers.

According to one of the injured shop owners, a patent medicine dealer, “I
was attending to a customer when soldiers came into my shop, asked me what
I was doing there and used their horse whip on me. I ran away. Even Keke
riders and other people who were going through Hospital road at that time
were beaten mercilessly. They even collected our money, everybody closed
shop and ran away”

As at the time of filing this report, the injured policemen were said to
have been invited to the office of the state Commissioner of Police,
Alhaji Usman Tilli Abubakar at Umuahia, the state capital.

Abia Police spokesman, ASP Ogbonna Geoffrey who described the incident as
unfortunate, added that it has been resolved as the two agencies will
continue to work together to maintain law and order in the state.

Source: Radio Biafra.

US, UK advocate non-military approach for Boko Haram terrorists.


 

US-state-department

The governments of United States and the United Kingdom have advised the Federal Government to increase its use of non-military approach and regional collaboration to tackle the menace of Boko Haram in parts of Nigeria.

The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle, and the British High Commissioner in Nigeria, Andrew Pocock, disclosed this separately in Lagos and Abuja, where they said the incidences of Boko Haram attacks in parts of the North required new thinking and approaches beyond military diplomacy.
The US Ambassador who was at a media roundtable in Lagos said: “The Federal Government must look at the social and economic conditions that gave rise to the insurgency in the Northern parts of the country.

“The Federal Government must look at why did it start in the first place? What drew people to this organisation in the first place? Was it lack of employment opportunity? Was it education system?

I am not sure what the reasons might be. Sometimes it is hard to do but we need to ask why is it happening in our country and what can we do better in our country to make sure that this type of thing does not happen again.

Challenge of counter-terrorism
“Part of the challenge of counter-terrorism is that you are fighting an enemy who mixes with the population and one of the most difficult things for the military is to go into a mixed setting like that and figure out who is a terrorist and who are the innocent civilians.”

“In my conversation with your government and military, I have expressed these points and I think there is a growing concern over finding an enemy who mixes with the civilian population.
“These are enormously difficult thing to do and that is why we are trying to help the Federal Government.”
He also advised Nigeria to strengthen its regional diplomacy.

According to Entwistle,”there is the need for your government to work closely with Cameroun and Chad because these guys cross the borders. The only way to deal with these guys is to collaborate with your neigbours and relevant international organisations.”

Britain to help with security challenges
In Abuja, the British High Commissioner, Mr. Andrew Pocock, who spoke in Abuja at the welcome ceremony for Nigerian Chevening scholars, said: “We have already been working closely with the Nigerian government on the security agenda. There is a lot that is going on and will continue to go on.

“The other thing we are doing is to help promote the view which I think the Nigerian government already has, that the conflict in the North-East, the kind that we see, is not going to be solved easily and purely by military means. There is need for a co-ordinated approach on the political and economic fronts.

“Our development programme is very much aimed in assisting in the two aspects in bringing new approaches to dealing with the drivers of conflict and secondly, by promoting some of the basic elements that people require, particularly in parts of the north, education, health care, sanitation, elements of infrastructure uplift, helping marginalised people to become small entrepreneurs and to have access to the form of financial systems in Nigeria.”

Pocock explained further that his government had plans to assist Nigeria in dealing with its security challenges but noted that it was actively engaged in providing training for the Nigerian military on Command and Staff College.

Nigeria’ll overcome B’Haram challenges — Onaiyekan
Meanwhile, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, however, expressed optimism that Nigeria would overcome the challenges of Boko Haram insurgents.
Onaiyekan expressed the optimism at a mass to conclude the 2014 Prayer Project of Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Nigeria, at Papal Ground, Kubwa, Abuja.

He said there was nothing like Boko Haram 10 years ago and it would soon become history by the grace of God.
He said: “Let us continue to pray that God will deliver us from this ‘terrible infection’ of Boko Haram. We do not know how God will do it, but as Christians, we need deep faith and believe that God will do it.”
The cleric urged Christians to continue to pray for the peace and unity of the country.

By Hugo Odiogor & Victoria Ojeme

Source: Radio Biafra.

Rivers released 275 suspects Boko Haram arrest sterrorists.


Boko-Haram-members-42-suspected

Two hundred and seventy-five persons among those held by the Police in Rivers State on the suspicion that they are members of the dreaded Boko Haram group, have been released.

Deputy Commissioner State Criminal Investigation Department (DC/CID), Sam Ukaula told reporters in Port Harcourt yesterday that 19 of those arrested are being held for further interrogation.

The arrest of the people travelling in buses on the Rivers –Imo border, has generated huge interest. The House of Representatives has ordered as probe into the

arrests. .

Ukaula said the 19, whose mission in Port Harcourt was not clear, include an illegal immigrant from Niger Republic. One of them, he said, had spent ammunition on him.

The police officer said the interception of the vehicles and arrest of the occupants was necessitated by information to Commissioner of Police Mbu Joseph Mbu, that a great number of the killer squads had been dispatched to cause havoc on Port Harcourt residents.

He explained that the action of the Police was meant to nip the intended trouble in the bud. He absolved the police of political connection.

Earlier reports said those arrested were 320, but Ukaula said yesterday that they were 294.

The suspects were arrested on Sunday morning at the boundary between Imo and Rivers states, in a convoy of 17 buses from Jigawa state. They were held at the state CID until they were screened and freed.

Ukaula said a team of security agencies in the state, including the Army, Police Immigration, customs and SSS assembled to screen the suspects before the 275 could be released.

He said: “It would be recalled that on Friday night of January 24, 2014, the Commissioner of Police received an alarming information that members of Boko Haram were being massively transported to Rivers state particularly, Port Harcourt from certain parts of the country for the purpose of causing havoc on innocent citizens.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Tough time awaits Boko Haram – Jonathan.


 

President-jonathan-05

President Goodluck Jonathan said yesterday that with the appointment  of new Chief of Defence Staff and service chiefs, tough time awaits Boko  Haram, even as the House of Representatives ordered investigation into  the arrest of 320 suspected terrorists in Rivers State.
The President’s assurance came 48 hours after gunmen suspected to be  Boko Haram killed over 70 people including worshippers and villagers in  Adamawa and Borno states last Sunday.
In one attack, some men armed with guns and explosives killed 18  people at a Catholic church during a morning mass in Waga Chakawa  village in Adamawa State.
The community is in Madagali Local Government, which is a boundary  area with Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State. The area is known  for series of insurgent attacks since the declaration of the state of  emergency.
Jonathan, who paid homage to the Lamido Adamawa, Alhaji  Barkindo Mustapha at his palace in Adamawa State yesterday, stressed  that the excesses of the terrorist group will be curtailed.
The President, who condoled with the people of Adamawa State for the  killings, congratulated the state for producing the current Chief of  Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh. Jonathan said, “he is  somebody I have worked with before and I believe with him and the other  service chiefs definitely, the security equation will change. They have  not been cleared by the National Assembly, which I believe will be done  this week.
“I believe by next week, we will have our first security council  meeting and I believe that the tempo will change. The police, working  with the Armed Forces, the excesses of Boko Haram will be reduced”, he  said.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives yesterday asked its  Committees on Police and Human Rights to investigate the reported arrest  of 320 suspected Boko  Haram members in Rivers State.
It also set up an 18-man panel to visit Borno State and commiserate  with the families of people killed by insurgents in Maiduguri recently.
The resolution followed  a motion moved by the Deputy Minority  Leader, Hon  Suleiman Abdularahman Kawu on the need to investigate the  arrest of 320 suspected Boko Haram members in Rivers State.
The motion was passed when the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, put the motion to vote.
From JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYE and Iheanacho Nwosu, Abuja.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Boko Haram terrorists attack death toll in Borno & Adamawa hits 138.


 

Boko-Haram-tolls-

Hours after Boko Haram struck in Borno and Adamawa states, grim details of the attacks emerged yesterday.

The death toll rose from 74, which was reported yesterday, to 138.

Eighty-five died in Kawuri village in Borno State, and 53 in Chakawa, Adamawa State.

No fewer than 16 others are believed to be missing in Borno, it was learnt.

Emerging details of the attacks indicated that the insurgents issued three warning letters to Kawuri community before they struck last Sunday, a survivor, Mallam Mohammed Tukur, said.

 

Tukur said the assailants also destroyed houses, mosques and a market square, adding that they operated for six hours before troops arrived.

Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima was in Kawuri yesterday, amid tight security, for on-the-spot assessment.

He saw the over 200 destroyed homes that were and promised to rebuild them. He also made financial pledge to the victims.

Shettima, who visited the village with a high-powered delegation, took with him a large amount of relief materials and foodstuff which he distributed to affected residents.

Addressing residents at the palace of the village head, he said the rebuilding of the destroyed village would be a priority.

He announced that each family member of the slain residents, would get N250,000 each, bringing the total cash donation to N21.25 million.

Shettima said about 1,500 units of food items and other relief materials would be distributed to the victims to alleviate the devastating effect of the attacks.

The relief materials include 600 bags of rice, 30 bags of beans, 300 bags of maize, and 200 of blankets, mats and cartons of Maggie cubes, drugs and hospital essentials for the community health centre.

The governor said: “All the 200 burnt houses, mosques and market are to be rebuilt.”

The rebuilding of the demolished houses, he said, began yesterday.

“I am also going to compensate for all the destroyed property in this village, but not the lives of 85 people destroyed by these insurgents. They are not true Muslims; They continue to destroy people’s lives and property, without any genuine cause. As long as the insurgents continue to destroy your houses and other property, the state government will also continue to rebuild them, as you have no other place to go; and live in this state.

“Security will be intensified in this village. We will deploy more troops and policemen, so that your lives and property are adequately protected from the insurgents.”

An official, Dala Lawan, put the death toll at 85.

Lawan said 53 bodies were given mass burial. He said more bodies were still being found, adding that some of the injured have died. He said no fewer than 40 people were injured.

Many lay in the hospital in Konduga, the main town in the area, nursing bullet wounds and burns.

Suspected Boko Haram members stormed the Kawuri village weekly market, Sunday night, setting off explosives, shooting people and razing homes.

Kawuri is about 70 kilometres southeast of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

The death toll of the attack on the Catholic Church in Chakawa village, has risen to 53, Chairman of Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Mr Maina Ularamu, said yesterday.

Ularamu said local officials counted 47 bodies, including those of two policemen. Many injured people are in hospitals, he added.

The gunmen were armed with sophisticated weapons. They left after invading another border village, killing and maiming before fleeing to neighbouring Cameroun Republic.

A resident, who spoke anonymously, said he counted about 53 bodies before they were evacuated to the morgue.

Brigade Commander of the 23rd Armoured Brigade, Yola, Brig. Gen. Rogers Nicholas, said he was yet to ascertain the death toll. He said the impact of the attack was minimal, adding that the military is on top of things.

Residents said they were living in fear because more attacks could be launched.

The spokesman of the Catholic Diocese of Yola, Rev. Fr. Raymond Danbouye, also confirmed that dozens were killed and buried after a funeral on Monday.

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