Syria: France Suspends Arms Exports To Turkey

 

France has suspended all planned exports of “war materials” to Turkey that could be used in their offensive into Syria, said a statement from the foreign and defence ministries Saturday.

A meeting in Luxembourg Monday of the European Union’s foreign affairs committee will decide on a coordinated European approach to the issue, the statement said.

 

Troops Ambush Terrorists, Kill Three Insurgents In Borno

 

Following credible information from some patriotic Nigerians about terrorists movement along Banki Road Junction, Pulka in Gwoza general area, troops of Special Response Area (SRA) Pulka under the Nigerian Army Super Camp Gwoza, in collaboration with Civilian Joint Task Force conducted a successful night ambush on Thursday 3rd October 2019.

The ambush resulted in the neutralization of 3 terrorists, recovery of 2 AK 47 Rifles and 2 motor cycles. Unconfirmed number of terrorists were reportedly wounded during the ambush. There is no casualty on the Nigerian Army or Civilian JTF.

According to the army spokesman, Colonel Ado Isa, items recovered by troops include 2 X AK 47 rifles and 2 X bicycles.

READ ALSO: Army Arrests Chikwedum, Alleged Boko Haram Logistics Supplier

Similarly, at about 2250 hours on 3rd October 2019, in what seems like a repraisal attack to avenge the lost of their members in the ambush conducted by the troops, some marauders/criminals woefully attacked the Delta Company Location of the SRA at Pulka.

Consequently, troops swiftly responded by effectively repelling the attack, one bandit lost his life and one Ak 47 rifle was recovered. No casualty was recorded by the Civ JTF or the troops.

The Acting General Officer Commanding 7 Division and Commander Sector 1 Operation LAFIYA DOLE Brigadier General AK Ibrahim was in SRA Pulka where he interacted with the troops, commended them for the successes so far and urged them to remain committed and unwavering in the struggle to end the insurgency soon.

Germany Extends Saudi Arms Exports Ban

German Chancellor Angela Merkel/ AFP

 

Germany has extended a weapons export embargo against Saudi Arabia for six months until the end of March 2020, a government spokesman said Wednesday.

Besides a halt in deliveries during the period, no new weapons contracts would be approved, the spokesman added about the embargo, which was imposed last October over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

AFP

US To Accelerate Missile Program After INF Treaty Exit

 

The United States is to accelerate its development of new cruise and ballistic missile systems following its withdrawal from a nuclear treaty with Russia, the Pentagon said on Friday.

Accusing Russia of “sustained and repeated violations” of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the US had already begun work to develop “mobile, conventional, ground-launched cruise and ballistic missile systems.”

As the United States had “scrupulously complied” with its obligations to the 1987 treaty until its formal withdrawal, “these programs are in the early stages,” Esper said in a statement.

“Now that we have withdrawn, the Department of Defense will fully pursue the development of these ground-launched conventional missiles as a prudent response to Russia’s actions.

“The Department of Defense will work closely with our allies as we move forward in implementing the National Defense Strategy, protecting our national defense and building partner capacity,” he added.

Moscow has said that Washington is making a “serious mistake” pulling out of the treaty, insisting that the US had abandoned the agreement for its own gain rather than because of alleged Russian violations.

AFP

Trump To Bypass Congress To Sell Arms To Saudi, UAE

FILES) In this file photo taken on May 20, 2017, US President Donald Trump (L) and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud take part in a signing ceremony at the Saudi Royal Court in Riyadh. MANDEL NGAN / AFP

 

President Donald Trump’s administration is bypassing Congress to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, citing a threat from Iran, despite lawmakers’ concerns about their possible use against civilians in Yemen, a senator said Friday.

Senator Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had used his powers to block sales of tens of thousands of precision-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, fearing they would contribute to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, where the US allies are mounting an offensive.

But the administration informed lawmakers that it was bypassing a legally required review by Congress to approve the sales as part of a total of 22 arms transactions to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other nations, Menendez’s office said.

READ ALSO: Trump Congratulates India’s Modi, BJP On ‘BIG’ Election Win

“I am disappointed, but not surprised, that the Trump administration has failed once again to prioritize our long-term national security interests or stand up for human rights, and instead is granting favors to authoritarian countries like Saudi Arabia,” Menendez said in a statement.

“With this move, the president is destroying the productive and decades-long working relationship on arms sales between the Congress and the executive branch,” he said.

“The possible consequences of this decision will ultimately threaten the ability of the US defense industry to export arms in a manner that is both expeditious and responsible,” he said.

The sales come after Trump vetoed a move by Congress to stop US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, where tens of thousands have died and millions risk starvation in what the United Nations calls the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has resolutely defended the US support for the Saudis, noting that the Huthi rebels who control much of Yemen are allied with US adversary Iran and saying that Huthi rocket attacks into Saudi Arabia could kill Americans taking commercial flights.

AFP

Surrender Illegal Weapons In Your Possession, Acting IGP Warns Nigerians

Surrender Illegal Weapons In Your Possession, Acting IGP Warns Nigerians
Acting IGP, Mohammed Adamu.

 

The acting Inspector General of police, Mohammed Adamu, has warned Nigerians currently in unlawful possession of illegal weapons to immediately ensure a voluntary return of the weapons to police stations or public armoury nearest to them.

He gave the warning in a statement signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, on Sunday in Abuja.

The warning followed intelligence report which indicated the presence of a huge quantity of arms in unlawful possession of some Nigerians.

It also highlighted the desperation of some citizens to acquire more arms and the continued proliferation of illicit weapons in the polity with the attendant negative and security implications.

READ ALSO: CCT Adjourns Onnoghen’s Alleged False Asset Declaration Case Indefinitely

In view of this, the police boss, with immediate effect, placed an embargo on the issuance of new licences for designated arms throughout the country.

He advised Nigerians to take advantage of the “voluntary arms return window” and do the right thing as there would be dire consequences for defaulters and those who fail to heed the call.

Meanwhile, the police have concluded plans to embark on massive joint arms mopping up operations across the country.

According to the statement, the operation which will be intelligent driven and target oriented is designed to retrieve all illicit weapons in circulation.

It would also halt the ongoing proliferation of weapons as well as restore law and order and bring perpetrators to justice.

Spain Defends Selling Arms To Saudi Despite Khashoggi’s Murder

Leader of the Spanish Socialist Party PSOE Pedro Sanchez gives a speech during a debate on a no-confidence motion at the Lower House of the Spanish Parliament in Madrid on June 01, 2018. 
Emilio Naranjo / POOL / AFP

 

Spain’s Socialist prime minister defended Wednesday arms deliveries to Saudi Arabia despite an outcry over the murder of a Saudi journalist, saying it was in the country’s “interests” to keep selling military hardware to the kingdom.

“If you ask me where I stand today, it is in the defence of the interests of Spain, of jobs in strategic sectors in areas badly affected by the drama that is unemployment,” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told parliament.

Spain’s state-owned shipbuilder Navantia in July signed a deal worth 1.8 billion euros ($2.0 billion) to supply oil-rich Saudi Arabia with five navy ships.

The shipbuilder is located in the southern region of Andalusia, a socialist bastion which has one of Spain’s highest unemployment rates and which will hold regional elections in December.

Sanchez said he shared the “dismay and condemnation” of international public opinion regarding the “horrible assassination” of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.

But the “seriousness of these horrible events which I unequivocally condemn can not and should not prevent us from acting responsibly,” he added.

Catalan separatist parties and far-left party Podemos, whose support Sanchez’s minority government depends on, have called on the government to suspend Spain’s arms sales to Saudi Arabi in protest against Khashoggi’s murder.

Sanchez’s government came under fire in September after it decided to go ahead with the delivery of 400 laser-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia, amid concerns that they could harm civilians in Yemen where the kingdom is engaged in a bloody conflict.

The government had earlier said it would block the export of the weapons but Sanchez justified the about-face at the time on the grounds that it was needed to preserve good ties with the Gulf state, a key commercial partner for Spain.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and prominent critic of powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed after entering the consulate in Turkey on October 2.

His murder has revived the debate in countries around the world over their ties to Saudi Arabia.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday that Berlin would not export arms to Saudi Arabia for now in the wake of Khashoggi’s violent death.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday that it would be “extremely difficult” to cancel a 2014 blockbuster sale of armoured personnel carriers to Saudi Arabia Without “paying exorbitant penalties”.

AFP

Khashoggi’s Death: Germany Won’t Export Arms To Saudi – Merkel

BREAKING: German Chancellor Angela Merkel Arrives In Nigeria
German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a joint press conference with the Danish Prime Minister on April 12, 2018 at the Chancellery in Berlin. MICHELE TANTUSSI / AFP

 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday that Berlin would not export arms to Saudi Arabia for now in the wake of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s violent death.

“I agree with all those who say when it comes to our already limited arms exports (to Saudi Arabia) that they cannot take place in the current situation,” she told reporters at her party headquarters.

Her foreign minister, Heiko Maas, had already said on Saturday that he currently saw “no basis for decisions in favour of arms exports to Saudi Arabia”.

Germany last month approved 416 million euros ($480 million) worth of arms exports to Saudi Arabia for 2018. In the past, military exports by Berlin to Saudi have mostly consisted of patrol boats.

Merkel reiterated that she condemned Khashoggi’s killing “in the strongest terms” and saw an “urgent need to clear up” the case.

“We are far from seeing everything on the table and the perpetrators being brought to justice,” she said.

Merkel added that she would continue to consult with international partners about a coordinated reaction to the case.

Germany and Saudi Arabia only returned their ambassadors in September after 10 months of frosty relations following criticism from Berlin of what it said was Saudi interference in Lebanese affairs.

The Khashoggi case has opened a serious new rift with European partners Britain, France and Germany saying in a joint statement earlier that Saudi Arabia must clarify how Khashoggi died inside its Istanbul consulate, and its account must “be backed by facts to be considered credible”.

After a fortnight of denials, Saudi authorities admitted Saturday that Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and prominent critic of powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed after entering the consulate in Turkey on October 2.

But it has faced a growing chorus of incredulity over its belated explanation that he died in a “brawl”, as world powers demand answers and the whereabouts of his body.

AFP

Police Recover Hidden FG Assets, 9,657 Illegal Arms, Others

 

Police authorities say they have recovered monetary and non-monetary assets of the Federal Government hidden in some commercial banks across the country.

They have also recovered a total of 9,657 illegal and prohibited arms and more than 26,000 ammunition in two batches across the country.

Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood on Thursday said the nationwide mop up exercise by the police is aimed at the full enforcement of the Firearms Act.

According to him, the mop-up began after the expiration of the ultimatum of the deadline given by the force for persons with illegal firearms, weapons and ammunition to turn them in.

Read the full statement by the police below:

PRESS BRIEFING

UPDATE ON THE RECOVERY OF PROHIBITED FIREARMS, ILLEGAL WEAPONS AND LOCALLY FABRICATED LETHAL DEVICES RECOVERED IN THE ONGOING MOP-UP OF FIREARMS/ILLEGAL WEAPONS BY THE NIGERIA POLICE FORCE AND EFFORTS OF THE NIGERIA POLICE FORCE IN THE RECOVERY OF MONETARY AND NON- MONETARY ASSETS FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT; BY THE FPRO, Ag. DCP JIMOH MOSHOOD AT THE FORCE HEADQUARTERS, ABUJA ON 20th SEPTEMBER, 2018.

The Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris NPM, mni, on 21st February, 2018 directed the Commissioners of Police of all the State Commands of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja and their Supervisory Assistant Inspectors General of Police of the Twelve Zonal Commands in the Country, and the Force Headquarters Joint Task Enforcement Team to immediately commence simultaneously throughout the Country, the mopping-up, recovery of prohibited firearms, ammunition and weapons in the possession of all suspected Militias, Bandits, Armed Herdsmen and Farmers, Vigilante groups, Neighbourhood watch and other groups or Individual(s) or Bodies bearing prohibited firearms and ammunition, illegal weapons and lethal devices whether locally fabricated, modified or otherwise fashioned to kill or that can cause harm or injury to persons or that can cause panic, fear, apprehension, security breach, breach of Public peace or that can cause threat to law and order anywhere in the Country.

2. Consequently, ultimatums of Twenty One (21) days at intervals were given by the Force for voluntary return of all prohibited firearms in the hands of members of the General Public, individuals and groups such as Vigilantes and neighbourhood watch groups in any of the Thirty Six (36) States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) including the Seven Hundred and Seventy Four (774) Local Government Areas of the Federation, Town Unions, Hunters and Watch night men or any group or association under any capacity or guise, other than Security Agencies recognized statutorily and gazetted by the Federal Government of Nigeria to bear firearms of specified category; after the expiration of the grace period and ultimatums, the Commissioners of Police of State Commands, FCT and their Supervisory Assistant Inspectors General of Police and the Force Headquarters Joint Task Enforcement Team in compliance with IGP’s directives and working on actionable intelligence, swung into actions and embarked on Mop-up, Seizure and Recovery of all illegal and prohibited firearms and ammunition from wrong hands, suspected Militias, Militants, Criminal/Unlawful Gangs through search, raid and seizure from identified premises, hideouts, dwelling houses, buildings and sites where these illegal/prohibited firearms were kept based on reasonable suspicion and intelligence and recovered the following prohibited/illegal firearms and ammunition:

RECOVERED PROHIBITED FIREARMS
Batch 1 – No. of Firearms Recovered = 6, 527
No. of Ammunition Recovered = 14, 809
Batch 2 – No. of Firearms Recovered = 3, 130
No. of Ammunition Recovered = 12, 185
3. Below are the categories of the prohibited/illegal firearms and ammunition, specified under Chapter F.28 LFN 2004 Fire Arms Act:
Prohibited Firearms
i. Artillery
ii. Apparatus for the discharge of any explosives of gas diffusing projectile.
iii. Rocket weapons
iv. Bombs and Grenades
v. Machine-Guns and Machine-Pistols
vi. Military rifles, namely; those of calibers 7.62mm, 9mm, .300 inches
vii. Revolvers and Pistols whether rifled or unrifled (including flint-lock pistols and cap pistols).
viii. Firearms such as Pump action gun of all categories
ix. Any other firearms/lethal weapons fabricated to kill

4. This operation which is still ongoing among other purposes, is aimed at the full enforcement of the Firearms Act, mopping-up and recovery of all prohibited firearms and illegally acquired weapons and will enable the Nigeria Police Force deal decisively with Herders/Farmers Clashes, Kidnappings, Armed Robbery, Cattle Rustling, Militancy and Terrorism etc.

5. EFFORTS OF THE NIGERIA POLICE FORCE IN THE RECOVERY OF MONETARY AND NON- MONETARY ASSETS FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
On assumption of Office, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris, NPM, mni created Special Units to handle high profile cases including Terrorism, Cyber and high-tech crimes, some of which includes the IGP Monitoring Unit, Special Investigation Panel (SIP) and Task Force on Anti-Pipeline Vandalism.
As a result of these efforts, the Nigeria Police Force recovered the following monetary and non-monetary assets for the Federal Government.
RECOVERY OF CASH ITEMS
i. The sum of Four Hundred and Seventy Million, Five Hundred and Nineteen Thousand, Eight Hundred and Eighty-Nine US Dollars and Ten Cent ($470,519,889.10) belonging to NNPC BRASS/LNG INVESTMENT hidden in some commercial banks after the directives of the Federal Government on TSA.
ii. The sum of Eight Billion, Eight Hundred and Seven Million, Two Hundred and Sixty Four Thousand, Eight Hundred and Thirty-Four Naira, Ninety-Six Kobo (NGN8,807,264,834.96) monies belonging to NNPC BRASS/LNG INVESTMENT, that was not remitted to TSA Account of the Federal Government was also recovered
iii. The Sum of One Hundred and Fourteen Million, Two Hundred And Ninety Thousand Naira, (NGN 114,290,000.00) in relation to the December 10th, 2016, National And State Assembly Re-Run Elections in Rivers State Of Nigeria was recovered from twenty-three (23) INEC Electoral officials.
RECOVERY OF NON-CASH ITEMS
· The Nigeria Police Force in the fight against Economic Sabotage and pipeline vandalism related crimes recovered two (2) Vessels, seven (7) Speed Boats, eight-three (83) Trucks, twenty-five assorted Cars including Jeeps, thirty-six (36) Buses, twenty-nine (29) Motorcycles, five Speed Boat engines and thirty-eight (38) pumping/Drilling Machines and Generators.
Summary of Monetary and Non-Monetary Assets recovered
The total recoveries of Monetary and Non-Monetary Assets of the Federal Government by the Nigeria Police Force are:

(a) MONETARY ASSETS
· Four Hundred and Seventy Million, Five Hundred and Nineteen Thousand, Eight Hundred and Eighty-Nine US Dollars and Ten Cents ($470,519,889.10).
· Eight Billion, Nine Hundred and Twenty-One Million, Five Hundred and Fifty-Four Thousand, Eight Hundred and Thirty-Four Naira and Ninety-Six Kobo (NGN 8,921,554,834.96).
(b) NON-MONETARY ASSETS:
· Two (2) Vessels
· Seven (7) Speed Boats
· Eighty-three (83) Tanker Trucks
· Sixty-one (61) assorted Vehicles
· Five (5) Speed Boats Engines
· Twenty-nine (29) Motorcycles
· Thirty-eight (38) Pumping/Drilling Machines and Generators.
6. While the Firearms Mop-up Operations and the recovery of monetary/non-monetary assets of Government are still ongoing, the Nigeria Police Force, therefore, implores Members of the Public with useful information that will assist the Police to report via the following contacts:

DIG Department of Operations: 08037025670
O/C IGP Special Investigation Panel: 08035891859
O/C IGP Monitoring Unit: 08032451594
O/C IGP Intelligence Response Team: 09098049333

7. The commitment of the Nigeria Police Force to guarantee protection of Lives and Property and recovery of Government assets in the hands of unpatriotic individual(s), group(s) or corporate bodies across the country remains unequivocal and unwavering.

Ag. DCP JIMOH MOSHOOD
FORCE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
FORCE HEADQUARTERS
ABUJA

Police Decry Rate Of Arms Proliferation Among Youths

Police Decry Rate Of Arms Proliferation In Cross River
File Photo

Cross River State Police Command has decried the high rate of proliferation of arms and light weapons among youths in the state.

As a result, the Command called on parents to be vigilant about the activities of their wards both within and outside their immediate environment.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Hafiz Inuwa, said ensuring security was a collective responsibility, stressing that parents have a major role to play.

He was speaking at the State CID in Calabar, the state capital while parading 17 young men with different kinds of arms and ammunition.

Mr Inuwa reiterated the Command’s resolve to arrest and prosecute lawbreakers in the state and called for the cooperation of the public, especially parents on guarding their wards towards the right paths.

The suspects were arrested by the police for various offences such as the armed robbery at the University of Calabar Staff quarters and different locations in the state, attempted kidnapping, unlawful possession of firearms and cultism among others.

Other items recovered from them include plasma televisions, gadgets, locally made pistols and army jungle caps among other items.

Customs Discover 1,100 Pump-Action Rifles At Lagos Port

Customs Discover 1,100 Pump-Action Rifles At Lagos Port
Colonel Hameed Alli

Officials of the Nigeria Customs Service have discovered 1,100 pump-action rifles in a container at the Tin-Can Island Port in Lagos.

The weapons are believed to have been smuggled into the country by a gun-running syndicate.

Controller-General of Customs, Colonel Hameed Alli (retd), told journalists at a briefing in Lagos on Monday that the weapons were brought in from Turkey and concealed in a container purportedly conveying wash basins.

Following a thorough examination of the said container on September 7, the Customs boss said the weapons included 600 pieces of Georgia Magnum Black Pump-Action rifles among other rifles.

“If you add 600 plus 300, plus 200, that’s 1,100 pieces of pump-action rifles that were brought in under the guise of wash-hand basins and some other items,” he said.

Alli also said a Customs officer and a clerk at the Tin-Can Island Command have been arrested as part of investigations.

The discovery comes more than seven months after Customs operatives intercepted 661 pieces of pump-action rifles in Lagos.

This file photo shows some of the rifles seized by Customs in January 2017

The Customs boss had on January 30 told reporters in Ikeja that despite the Federal Government’s ban on such type of weapons, the rifles were found in 49 boxes.

He said the weapons were concealed in steel doors and other merchandise goods in a 40-feet container conveyed in a Mack truck.

FG Approves Whistle-blowing Policy On Arms

FG Approves Whistle-blowing Policy On ArmsWhistle-blowing in Nigeria is now being extended beyond financial crimes, to illegal ownership of small arms and light weapons.

The Presidency has started drawing up the rules of a whistle-blower mechanism to throw a spotlight on the regime of gun ownership and control in the country.

Also Read: Presidency Seeks To Strengthen Whistle-blower Policy

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publcity, Mr Garba Shehu, in a statement said the move was made to disarm communities, especially those with an inclination to violence.

He added that the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), has started working on a template for uncovering illegal weapons through a reward system, similar to the Whistle-blower Policy under the Ministry of Finance.

“The ONSA initiative may be an independent line of inquiry or in active collaboration with what the government is doing in Finance. This will be a sort of searchlight on weapons ownership in the country.

“Whatever form or shape it takes, the administration wants to take a tough line to curtail the large number of illegal weapons in circulation used in intra and inter-communal conflicts,” the President’s spokesman explained.