Zulum Meets With Chadian President Over Refugees In Borno

Borno Governor Zulum and Chadian President Idriss Debby

 

Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum, alongside Nigerian ambassador to Chad, Zannah Umar Bukar Kolo, on Wednesday, met President Idriss Debby of the Republic of Chad over the repatriation of thousands of Nigerian refugees, the majority from Borno, who in batches, fled killings by Boko Haram since 2014.

The meeting, which held at the presidential palace in N’Djamena, was also attended by the Chadian ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Abakar Saleh Chahaimi.

“I am here in Chad to see our people currently taking refuge at The Darsalam camp in Baga Sola. We met them yesterday. Our people are doing very well, the government of Chad is taking care of them. So I am here to express appreciation to the President for his generosity towards our people here in Chad. We have also discussed how we can voluntarily repatriate our people back to Nigeria.

Basically, we are here for three things: meet our people, thank the government of chad, and intensify collaborative efforts to repatriate those who are willing to be safely resettled in different parts of Borno” Zulum said while briefing journalists after the meeting.

Before today’s meeting with the President, Zulum crossed over Lake Chad on Tuesday to the refugee camp in Baga Sola, interacted with citizens and supervised the distribution of N50 million to 5,000 families as part of social protection.

The majority of the families hail from different parts of Kukawa local government in which the commercial town of Baga is located. Other families fled local government areas in northern Borno and some extreme portions of Borno central located around the border with Cameroon through which Chad is accessed by land.

Governor Zulum was in Chad back in January, this year, to meet commanders of the Multinational Joint Task Force over the fight against Boko Haram.

Zulum has had visited Cameroon and Niger republic at different times to meet Borno citizens taking refuge in the three neighboring countries with land borders connecting Borno from different angles.

During all of these trips, Zulum supervised the distribution of food items and financial support to thousands of refugees and extended gratitude to host communities and government at the local and national levels of the three neighboring countries.

Chadian President, Idriss Deby Wins 5th Term

Idriss DebyThe Chadian President, Idriss Deby, is in very high spirits as he has secured a fifth term in office after winning more than 60% of the votes in the first round of presidential polls.

President Deby has been in power since 1990, when he orchestrated a military coup.

Based on the outcome of the vote, the opposition has expressed huge doubts over the credibility of the polls, especially after the opposition leader, Saleh Kebzabo finished a distant second with just under 13%.

Chad has one of the most capable armies in the region and President Deby has played a key role in efforts backed by the west to combat neighbouring Nigeria’s Islamic State-affiliated Boko Haram fighters as well as Al Qaeda militants.

Election Postponement Not In Vain – Omeri

Mike OmeriThe Coordinator of the National Information Centre, Mike Omeri on Thursday said that the victories recorded by the Nigerian army against the Boko Haram terrorist group was evidence that the postponement of the 2015 general elections was neither in vain nor a devious ploy by the government.

The general elections which had been slated for February 14 and 28 were postponed for security reasons and to buy time for the Nigerian army to sweep out Boko Haram insurgents in the north eastern region of the country.

While giving updates on security operations on Sunrise Daily, Omeri noted that there was increased collaboration and vigilance on the part of the security operatives in the fight against the insurgents.

Commenting on the postponement of the general elections, Mr Omeri noted that it was necessary to give the security agents time to restore peace in troubled areas.

“From the information coming from the North East, it is evident that successes are being recorded,” Omeri noted, adding that there were evidences that the request to postpone the general elections was not in vain and neither was it a ploy as alleged by the opposition.

Asked about the efforts at rescuing the Chibok school girls, who were abducted by members of the Boko Haram sect on April 14, 2014, Omeri said “operations are still ongoing” to free as many that were taken forcefully, including the girls.

He urged Nigerians to “please be patient”.

On comments by the Chadian President claiming to know the whereabouts of the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau and his continued resurgence despite previous claims by the Nigerian military that he had been killed, Omeri said he had no reason to doubt the military since they were the ones in the theater of action.

Asked about citizens who were forced to abandon their homes to escape Boko Haram attacks, Omeri disclosed that some internally displaced persons in some communities within the country have started returning to their various homes.

He however noted that some communities have been advised to wait for the army to give a go-ahead before moving back into their communities.

“Where peace and stability is established, people have started coming back. Where they still need to undertake mop up operations and give necessary security advice, citizens are advised to wait and operate within the advice that would be given by the military and other appropriate authorities”.

Chadian President Says Shekau’s Whereabouts Known

Chadian President Chadian President, Idriss Deby on Wednesday said that he knew the whereabouts of Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the militant group Boko Haram, and further called on him to surrender or risk being killed.

Chad’s army, as part of a cross-border military campaign, has waged a series of battles against Boko Haram, that helped recover territories the militant group held captive in north-east Nigeria.

Speaking to journalists after a regional meeting, Deby said “‎Abubakar Shekau must surrender. We know where he is. If he doesn’t give himself up, he will suffer the same fate as his compatriots.” he told a news conference after a regional meeting.

The Chadian President also said Shekau was in Dikwa (a town in north-eastern Nigeria held by Boko Haram) two days earlier before the regional meeting, stating that he managed to get away but he (Deby) knew his whereabouts, and later stressed that “it is in his interests to surrender”.

Ex-Chad President Hissene Habre To Face Trial In Senegal

habreFormer Chadian President, Hissene Habre, will face trial in Senegal for alleged war crimes, torture and crimes against humanity.

Judges at the Extraordinary African Chamber said that there is sufficient evidence against Mr Habre, who is in custody in Senegal.

The court was set up by Senegal and the African Union to try Mr Habre after his arrest in 2013. His trial will mean the first use of universal jurisdiction in Africa.

72-year-old Habre is accused of thousands of political killings during his 1982-1990 presidency, which ended when he was deposed by the current Chadian President, Idriss Deby.

He denies the charges and has refused to recognize the legitimacy of the court.

A political prisoner during Mr Habre’s rule, Clement Abaifouta, said, “We are finally going to be able to confront our main tormentor and regain our dignity as human beings.”

The decision to try Habre was made by a panel of four judges who carried out 19 months of investigation, including in Chad, interviewing about 2,500 witnesses and victims, according to Human Rights Watch.

Habre doesn’t recognize the legitimacy of the court and refused to participate in the proceedings, Human Rights Watch said.

HRW lawyer, Reed Brody, said, “A fair and transparent trial for Hissene Habre would now demonstrate that courts in Africa can be empowered to provide justice for African victims of crimes committed in Africa.”