HRW Asks Nigeria To Compensate Victims Of Military Bombing

Photo Credit: Reuters
Photo Credit: Reuters

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has asked the Nigerian Government to “compensate victims of the Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDPs) camp in the northeast” who were mistakenly bombed by a military jet.

The attack took place on Tuesday near the border with Cameroon, where the military engaged in what it called its ‘final push against Boko Haram’.

A senior researcher at the HRW in Nigeria, Mausi Segun, said that “prompt, adequate and effective compensation” was needed, even though there was no evidence of a willful attack on the camp.

She added that the “Victims should not be denied redress merely because the government decided the bombing was accidental”.

The military had insisted that the incident did not occur in an IDPs’ camp as reported in some quarters, but a settlement said to be occupied by civilians.

The spokesman for the military, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, who confirmed the incident to Channels Television, admitted that it was an error deeply regretted by the military.

He explained that soldiers got information of movement of Boko Haram members and deployed ground troops and air cover to tackle the terrorists before the unfortunate occurrence took place.

The military has continued clearance operations in the northeast after it sacked Boko Haram members from their Sambisa forest haven.

It had asked residents of the region to be more vigilant, as fleeing Boko Haram members could infiltrate their communities.

Nigerian Air Force Regrets Accidental Bombing In Borno

Nigerian Air Force, Bombing, BornoThe Nigerian Air Force says it regrets an accidental air strike by its troops in Rann area of Borno State, northeast Nigeria.

The apology was contained in a statement issued by the force’s spokesman, Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa.

The force condoled with the families of the dead, stressing that the ill-fated occurrence was extremely regretted.

The statement read: “The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is saddened by today’s accidental air strike by its fighter jet at Rann in Kala Balge area of Borno State in which some innocent lives were lost.

“While available information is sketchy, the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole is taking appropriate steps to avail us with details of the incident.

“The loss occasioned by this unfortunate incident is deeply regretted.

“The NAF commiserates with those affected and their families and would update the public as soon as detailed facts emerge from the investigation”.

Air Chief Condemns Renewed Bombings, Advocates Civilians’ Support

Sadique Abubakar, Air Chief, Bombings, Terrorists, Boko HaramThe Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has condemned the increasing rate of bomb attacks in Nigeria’s northeast region.

Air Marshal Abubakar said the renewed bombings in some part of the country were part of insurgence, especially with the dislodgment of the Boko Haram terrorists.

He, however, observed that the attacks were not peculiar, stressing that the military cannot deal with the menace alone.

The Air Chief explained that civilian intelligence and vigilance would play a big role to stop the activities of the dreaded insurgents.

He further stressed the importance of strong synergy between the civilians and the Nigerian Armed Forces, noting that it would critically reduce the incidences.

Air Marshal Abubakar said the corporation would also aid engagement with civilians through humanitarian efforts and psychological warfare.

The censure on the renewed bombings followed the attack on a mosque in the University of Maiduguri in Borno State in which four persons died with several others injured.

Barely 48 hours after the bombing, an accidental bombing of a civilian community occurred in Rann, also in Borno State.

The spokesman for the military, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, who confirmed the incident to Channels Television, admitted that it was an error deeply regretted by the military.

He explained that soldiers got information of movement of Boko Haram members and deployed ground troops and air cover to tackle the terrorists before the unfortunate occurrence took place.

Buhari Consoles Families Of Borno Accidental Bombing Victims

Muhammadu Buhari,Borno, Bombing, MilitaryPresident Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with families of those who died in the accidental bombing of a civilian community in Rann, Borno State.

A Presidency statement said the President received with deep sadness and regret, the error committed by some troops of the Nigerian Air Force who engaged in the final phase of mopping up operations against insurgents in the northeast.

Regrettable Operational Mistake

He also wished the wounded divine succour that would lead to full recovery and sympathised with the Borno State government.

President Buhari pledged the Federal Government’s support to the state government in attending to “this regrettable operational mistake,” and pleaded for calm.

In the statement by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, the President prayed that God would grant repose to the souls of the dead.

The accidental bombing had occurred earlier on Tuesday.

The spokesman for the military, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, who confirmed the incident to Channels Television on Tuesday, admitted that it was an error deeply regretted by the military.

He, however, said that the incident did not occur in an Internally Displaced Persons’ camp as being reported in some quarters, but a settlement said to be occupied by civilians.

General Abubakar explained that soldiers got information of movement of Boko Haram members and deployed ground troops and air cover to tackle the terrorists before the unfortunate occurrence took place.

Scores Feared Dead As Nigerian Jet Accidentally Drops Bomb On Borno Settlement

Nigerian Air Force Acquires More Combat HelicoptersA Nigerian military plane accidentally dropped a bomb inside a settlement in Borno State, killing several persons, military authorities said on Tuesday.

The spokesman for the military Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, confirmed the incident to Channels Television.

He explained that that it was an error deeply regretted by the military.

The military spokesman said the incident did not occur in an Internally Displaced Persons’ camp, as being reported by in some quarters but a settlement said to be occupied by civilians.

Brigadier General Abubakar explained that soldiers got information of movement of Boko Haram members in the Kala-balge area and deployed ground troops and air cover to tackle the terrorists.

According to him, it was the air support that mistakenly dropped the bomb.

In a statement, the Nigerian Air Force commiserated with those affected and their families, promising to give update on the incident as soon as detailed facts emerge from the investigation.  

Hospitals in Maiduguri have been told to be prepared to receive and promptly treat the injured.

The incident happened on a day Boko Haram terrorists claimed responsibility for suicide attacks on a university in Maiduguri in Borno State, killing four persons including the suicide bombers.

In an audio recording released on Monday and purportedly recorded by their leader, Abubakar Shekau, the group said: “There is no need for long explanation. The bomb that went off in the University of Maiduguri today in the morning, our brothers detonated them. May Allah accept their souls.

“Do not deceive the people by saying it is a mosque. What mosque? Where you carry out unbelief? Has the prophet ever done anything like democracy in his mosque? You keep disrespecting the Prophet Mohammed”.

Clearance of Boko Haram terrorists is ongoing in the region, with the Nigerian Air Force carrying out aerial bombardment of fleeing members of the group weeks after they were chased out of their last bastion in Sambisa forest.

On Monday, the Air Force released a video of a strike on a location it described as Boko Haram’s new hideout about one nautical mile south of Tumbum Rego in northern Borno.

Fighter jets and helicopter gunship of the Air Force assaulted the location in a coordinated day and night operation following Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) report that Boko Haram insurgents who attacked own Surface Forces at Kangarwa the night of January 12, 2017 had withdrawn to the said location.

The footage of the Battle Damage Assessment released by the NAF indicated that the operation was successful as the insurgent’s hideout was successfully destroyed.

The NAF had of recently intensified aerial patrol over the entire operation in the northeast, as well as offensive mission around the Green Belt region near Niger and Chad Republics.

Purported Boko Haram Video Mere Propaganda – Army

Purported Boko Haram Video Mere Propaganda – ArmyThe Nigerian Army has dismissed a video clip released by Boko Haram terrorist group from an undisclosed location on Thursday, showing its purported leader, making spurious claims.

In the video, the man usually identified as Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, reportedly claimed that reports of the group being crushed by the Nigerian Army during the capture of its Sambisa forest stronghold Camp Zero were untrue.

He also claimed that the group is safe and far away from any location where the Nigerian military can capture its members or defeat it.

“If you indeed crushed us, how can you see me like this? How many times have you killed us in your bogus death?” he asked.

The Acting Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Usman, said that effort is ongoing to subject the video for further forensic analysis to determine its authenticity.

He maintained that the Nigerian Army “has captured and occupied the last known stronghold of the terrorists group in the Sambisa forest”.

“We would like to reassure the public that this video is nothing but mere terrorists propaganda aimed at creating fear in the mind of people and to remain relevant.

“Therefore, there is no cause for alarm, more so as concerted effort in clearing the vestiges of Boko Haram terrorists wherever they might be hiding is still ongoing.

“Our gallant troops deployed in various parts of the northeast have continued to intensify search for all persons associated with Boko Haram terrorist group with a view to bring them to justice.

“Consequently, the public are hereby enjoined to go about their normal lawful business, remain vigilant and security conscious.

“They should also report any suspicious person or group of persons to security agencies.”

President Buhari, had in his Christmas message to Nigerians, announced Boko Haram’s “final crushing” in Sambisa forest.

President Buhari said the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, informed him that the last camp fell at about 1:35 p.m on Friday, December 23.

Boko Haram Video Is Show of Weakness – Nigerian Military

Boko Haram Video, Nigerian Military, Boko HaramThe Nigerian military has described the recent video clip released by the Boko Haram sect as diversionary and a desperate attempt by the dying terror group to remain relevant.

In a statement on Thursday by the Acting Director, Defence Information, Brigadier-General Rabe Abubakar, the Army said that the video clip was “a complete show of weakness and sign that the end is near for the insurgents, hence it does not in any way pose a threat” to the armed forces.

The statement reads: “The military is equally not deterred by the Photoshop assemblage of worshippers at the supposed Eid-El Kabir prayer which is a replica of the video clip released by the sect in 2014.  This has cast aspersion to the credibility of the clip and therefore should be disregarded.

“The Nigerian military is highly committed to making lives unbearable to the enemies of this nation wherever they are and would do all that is required within its rules of engagement to ensure that no part of Nigerian territory is conducive and habitable for insurgents and any other criminals to stay and operate.

“The military believes so much in making statement through its action as evidenced in its past achievements rather than making noise in propaganda gimmick as exhibited by the Boko Haram elements in its recent video clip.

“Empty vessel, they say, makes most sound. All threat to leadership of our nation, military and citizens, should be discountenanced in its entirety as military is capable of further decimating the insurgents and providing security for all.”

Surrender Now

The military said that its reaction became necessary in order to douse the apprehension of the Nigerian citizens concerning the outburst in the video clip, otherwise it “would have allowed the ranting of the Boko Haram in its latest video clip to go without formal reaction”.

It then warned the terrorist group: “While our operation will continue as planned with many terrorists already surrendering and many captives rescued, we advise all the remaining surviving Boko Haram terrorists to surrender now for their own good.

“The military wishes to reiterate its commitment, determination and resilience in stamping out Boko Haram and other related criminals across the country.”

The military urged Nigerians not to bother about the antics of the degraded sect, adding that “meeting their waterloo is surely imminent”.

“With the support and prayers from the good citizens of our great country the Armed Forces make bold to say that never again would insurgence be allowed to reign supreme in our fatherland.

“We want to use this opportunity to once again remind all citizens to report any suspected person(s) or object to the nearest security agency for prompt action.”

Defence Headquarters Warns Against Unwholesome Acts

Abubakar-Rabe-ColonelThe Defence Headquarters in Nigeria has issued a strong warning to persons or groups seeking to engage in acts capable of causing a breakdown of law and order.

The warning was contained in a statement by the spokesman for the Defence Headquarters, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar.

Although the groups were not mentioned in the statement, the military advised Nigerians to refrain from taking laws into their hands and avoid actions that may cause breach to harmonious co-existence.

“Individuals or groups seeking relevance should follow the due process in accordance with the law of our land and not through acts of brigandary,” the statement read.

General Abubakar also advised the general public to ignore inciting pictures, videos and statements posted in some social media platforms which he said were confirmed to be the creation of photoshops with the intention of causing disharmony and divisions among different nationalities.

He further stressed that the military and the security agencies would continue to sustain the current tempo against terrorists, oil thieves, cattle rustlers and other forms of criminalities.

The Defence Headquarters also urge all law abiding Nigerians to go about their normal businesses and report any suspicious persons or object to the nearest security post for prompt action.

South Africa To Work With Nigerian Military

South AfricaThe Chief of South African National Defence Force, General Zakaria Shoke, has re-affirmed his country’s willingness to work with Nigerian Armed Forces to the benefit of the two countries.

A statement by the Acting Director, Defence Information, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, says General Shoke made this known when he visited the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin in his office in Abuja.

The Chief of South African National Defence Force promised to support Nigeria in its quest to end Boko Haram in the country.

General Shoke further reaffirmed the commitment of the South African Armed Forces to the development of the Nigerian military in the area of capacity building, exchange programme and logistics support, among others.

In his response, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Olonisakin, thanked the South African Chief of National Defence Force for the visit and solicited for more cooperation in defence related matters.

This, he said would go a long way in strengthening the two countries’ bilateral cooperation.

General Olonisakin also requested for training of more Special Forces and other equipment that could be used in the operations against Boko Haram which has been substantially decimated and degraded.

He said the war against terror is closing up and would soon end.

Boko Haram Lures People Together To Bomb – DHQ

boko haramThe Defence Headquarters has raised an alarm that Boko Haram terrorists have devised other means of inflicting harm on innocent citizens to further their terrorist cause.

Some of such tactics they now use, according to a statement by the Acting Director Defence Information, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, include crying and feigning pains and shouting to attract sympathy from unsuspecting public.

“When a lot of people of goodwill gather to render help in the process, the suicide bomber detonates bombs which they conceal under their clothes.  The recent suicide bombing in Damaturu is instructive.

“Similarly, suicide bombers used monetary incentives and other inducements especially in crowded places to lure innocent citizens in order to cause colossal damage to both lives and property. Yola suicide incident is fresh in our memory.”

The Defence Headquarters has advised citizens to be wary of such antics of “the terrorists who are losing out in their former enclaves and are now desperate to remain relevant by using any means to perpetuate fear in the minds of the populace”.

The Defence Headquarters also wants citizens to be extra vigilant and weary of terrorist malevolence in such places as parks, worship centres and recreation spots particularly in the festive period.

Citizens have also been advised to report suspicious persons or objects to security agencies for prompt action.

Operation Lafiya Dole Gets New Commander

Nigerian Army- operation Lafiya DoleThe Defence Headquarters has restructured the Operation Lafiya Dole in Nigeria’s north-east to reposition it for more efficiency, effectiveness and combat readiness in the discharge of its assigned tasks of ending the activities of Boko Haram terrorists.

Consequently, Major General Hassan Umoru  has been appointed the new Theatre Commander.

Until his appointment, General Umoru was the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 3 Division Nigerian Army.

Mr. Umoru is succeeding Yusha’u Mahmood Abubakar, a Major General, who was appointed four months ago.

Major General Lucky Irabor was also appointed as the Deputy Theatre Commander.

According to a spokesman for the Army, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, “the changes are part of the reorganisation by the Defence Headquarters in line with the force restructuring of its operations to attain the overall objectives of the Chief of Defence Staff”.

“The aim of this new development is to restrategise and inject new tactics to the existing operational procedures with the aim of finally knocking out the terrorists who now devised means of hitting soft targets through suicide bombings and isolated attacks on remote villages,” he said in a statement on Friday.

Mr Abubakar further assured Nigerians that Operation Lafiya Dole would continue to be responsive until all elements of terrorists were finally crushed.

A deadline of December had been given to the military by President Muhammadu Buhari  to end the activities of Boko Haram terrorists in the north-east.