Over 51,000 Repentant Terrorists, Families In Custody – Military

 

No fewer than 51,000 repentant terrorists and their families have surrendered to troops serving in various theatres of operation in the North East, the military has said.

The Commander of Operation Hadin Kai, Major General Chris Musa, disclosed this to Channels Television during the latest edition of News Night which aired on Monday.

He explained that residents in the region have been helpful to the military, especially in the area of intelligence gathering despite the communication barrier in some localities.

READ ALSO: UN Chief Visits Borno IDPs, Says Reintegrating Repentant Terrorists Critical For Peace

“We get information as quickly as things are happening,” the commander said. “Sometimes, the challenge might probably be the way to communicate because we do not have network everywhere; but as soon as they get to where they can send messages across to us, they let us know.

“That has assisted us greatly in subduing the insurgents to such an extent that we have so much peace. We have over 51,000 insurgents and their family members that have surrendered to us.”

 

Nothing To Fear

While many individuals and groups perceive the laying down of weapons by insurgents as a sign that the security forces are winning the war, others remain skeptical about the intention of such persons.

General Musa, on his part, believes Nigerians, especially residents in the North East have nothing to fear as the military will continue to ensure they are well protected from criminally-minded persons.

According to him, the Nigerian Armed Forces has managed situations as such in the past in other countries, and replicating the same approach will be no different this time.

The Operation Hadin Kai chief in his words, “Normally there will be some concerns and I don’t blame the public for that, but I just want to assure them that we are professionals and we have done this before … in other countries where we had issues of disarmament.

“What goes on here now is that as soon as any of them is willing to surrender, he reports straight to the closest military location. The commander on the ground has his troops ready to disarm them, take over their arms, search them and profile them.

“Then the state government provides buses to move them to the camps already provided. The state government takes care of the management and administration, what we do is ensure that the perimeter is secure. So, we want to assure members of the communities that they are well secured and that they (repentant terrorists) will not pose any threat to anybody.

 

Why Surrender Now?

Musa, who revealed that the population of repentant terrorists and their families in the military’s custody was recorded in less than a year, gave an insight into what could have prompted the decision to surrender at this time.

A lot of them, according to him, were tired of the fight and wanted to come out to lay their arms but could not do so because of the fear of being killed for disloyalty.

He added that the leadership tussle within the terrorists’ camp following the death of their leader – Shekau, also created an avenue for willing insurgents to surrender to troops.

“I know everybody is asking why are they even surrendering now? For us, the surrendering started since July 2021 and for them to have been there (in the camps) to date shows you some level of commitment and why are they surrendering,” the senior military officer explained.

“The death of Shekau has opened a lot of opportunities because while he (Shekau) was there, he was very brutal; anybody who attempts to escape will be killed. They were scared of him (Shekau).

“But they knew we would treat them professionally; by the laws of war, once your enemies surrender, you are duty-bound to receive him and treat him humanely until the process of the legal system takes its course, and that is what we are doing.”

General Musa also faulted the claims that the military was pampering the repentant persons who played various roles in the over-decade-long insurgency that claimed thousands of lives.

Rather, he said, “We are not pampering them; we are just being in line with the statutory laws on the ground and that is why we ensure that all those ones that have been profiled are brought in and kept secure. Out of the over 51,000, 11,000 are males but not all of them are combatants.

“Among the males, we have some that were enslaved, those that were born there, and those that were conscripted. Gradually, those are going to be sorted out, and then the legal system will take its course.”

Fire Breaks Out At Russian Military Site, Injures One

File photo of Russian soldiers.                                      Alexander NEMENOV / AFP

 

A fire broke out on Sunday at a Russian defence ministry site in Belgorod, close to the border with Ukraine, the region’s governor said, injuring one person.

“On the the borders of three municipalities — Borisov, Belgorod and the urban district of Yakovlevsky — a fire broke out at one of the defence ministry’s facilities,” the governor of Russia’s Belgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, said on Telegram.

He later said one person suffered minor injuries, adding that rescue services were at the scene.

The governor of another border region, Kursk, said earlier on Sunday via Telegram that part of a railway bridge used by freight collapsed, without causing any casualties.

“It was sabotage, a criminal case has been opened. The authorities in charge of the investigation will resolve the issue,” said governor Roman Starovoyt, without naming Ukrainian forces and promising additional information later.

Russia has accused Ukrainian forces many times of attacks on Russian territory, in areas close to the border with Ukraine.

North Korea Boasts Of ‘Invincible Power’ Ahead Of Key Military Anniversary

This undated picture released from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on April 17, 2022 shows the test-fire of a new-type tactical guided weapon at an undisclosed location in North Korea.  STR / KCNA VIA KNS / AFP

 

North Korea’s state media boasted Sunday that its armed forces had “gained invincible power” under leader Kim Jong Un as it prepares for a major army holiday that analysts say could be marked with a military parade or major weapons test.

North Korea on Monday celebrates the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army and the nuclear-armed country has staged military parades in the past to mark key holidays.

Pyongyang has carried out more than a dozen weapons tests this year, including firing an intercontinental ballistic missile at full range for the first time since 2017.

READ ALSO: 10 Dead, 16 Missing In Japan Sightseeing Boat Accident

A report by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency listed the history of the country’s military achievements, from its battles against the United States in the 1950-53 Korean War to smaller conflicts.

“All the people of the country are looking back deeply on the history of the 100 victory of our revolutionary armed forces,” it said.

The report added Kim had further propelled the country’s military might with his “genius military ideology, excellent military command and unparalleled courage and guts”.

“Our revolutionary armed forces have gained invincible power that the world cannot ignore,” it said, in an apparent reference to the North’s nuclear arsenal.

This picture taken on January 8, 2021 and released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on January 9, 2021 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaking during the fourth day of 8th Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) in Pyongyang. STR / KCNA VIA KNS / AFP
This picture taken on January 8, 2021, and released from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on January 9, 2021, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaking during the fourth day of 8th Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) in Pyongyang. STR / KCNA VIA KNS / AFP

 

Signs that Pyongyang was preparing for its “biggest ever military parade” to mark the upcoming anniversary have been detected, Yonhap news agency reported, citing multiple unnamed government sources.

The parade was likely to take place at midnight, the report said, involving around 20,000 troops and the North’s most sophisticated weaponry including the “monster” Hwasong-17 ICBM as well as hypersonic and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

North Korea had been widely expected to showcase its military strength to mark the 110th anniversary of the birth of its founding leader and Kim’s grandfather Kim Il Sung on April 15, but instead, the day was celebrated with a civilian parade.

Satellite imagery has also shown continued preparations, with thousands of North Korean troops and scores of vehicles marching in formation at a parade training ground in Pyongyang.

“Typically, troops depart the training ground as soon as the parade is complete, so their presence further indicates an upcoming event,” Martyn Williams, a fellow at the Stimson Center, wrote on the 38 North website.

US and South Korean officials and analysts have also warned Pyongyang could resume nuclear weapons testing for the first time since 2017, citing renewed activity at its key testing site.

AFP

Junta Releases Former Guinea President Conde 

A screengrab taken from footage sent to AFP by a military source on September 5, 2021, shows the President of Guinea Conakry Alpha Conde after he was captured by army putschists during a coup d’etat in Conakry on September 5, 2021. MILITARY SOURCE / AFP

 

Guinea’s ousted president Alpha Conde is “finally free” and can receive visitors, the junta who overthrew him has said.

Conde became Guinea’s first democratically elected president in 2010, but the 84-year-old was deposed by army officers last year and replaced by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya.

He was allowed to go to the United Arab Emirates for medical treatment in January, coming back to Guinea on April 10.

His party, Rally of the Guinean People (RPG) has said that he was not truly free before or after his trip, and demanded his “total and unconditional freedom,”.

To back up its call, the RPG suspended its participation at a junta-organised national reconciliation conference in protest at his detention.

READ ALSO: Guinean Ex-Ministers Held In Corruption Crackdown

A statement by the junta published late Friday said that Doumbouya “informs national and international opinion that the former president of the republic is finally free”.

“While continuing to benefit from adequate protection, he can receive on demand members of his biological and political family, friends, and close ones,” it said.

The statement said Conde will stay at his wife’s house in the capital Conakry until his own private house is constructed in the suburb of Kipe.

“The dignity and integrality of professor Alpha Conde will always be preserved,” the statement said.

The coup followed fierce protests over Conde’s successful bid for a third term in office — which critics said breached the constitution.

Doumbouya, who has been sworn in as interim president, has promised to restore civilian rule but resisted international pressure to commit to a date.

AFP

Six Dead In Russian Military Research Institute Fire

Russian soldiers patrol a street on April 11, 2022, in Volnovakha in the Donetsk region. The picture was taken during a trip organized by the Russian military. Alexander NEMENOV / AFP

 

Six people died Thursday when a fire engulfed a Russian military research institute involved in developing air defence systems in the northwestern city of Tver, local officials said.

Russian television showed thick black smoke rising from inside the yellow four-storey building of the Central Research Institute of the Russian Air and Space Forces.

Several of the institute’s employees had to jump out of windows on the upper floors to escape the flames, according to witnesses quoted by broadcasters.

The Tver regional government said in a statement carried by state media that six people were killed and 21 injured in the blaze, updating earlier tolls.

Preliminary information suggests the fire was caused by faulty electric wiring, the TASS state news agency said.

The defence ministry said the institute focuses on research related to Russian air and space defence, as well as the development of new anti-aircraft systems.

Accidental fires are common in Russia, where hundreds of blazes are recorded each year due to ageing and dilapidated infrastructure and non-compliance with safety standards that are often lax.

AFP

UK To Step Up Military Presence In Arctic

File photo: A handout picture released by the British Ministry of Defence (MOD) shows Britain’s Defence Secretary Ben Wallace (C) hosting a meeting of the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) Defence Ministers meeting at at Belvoir Castle near Grantham, central England on February 22, 2022.  (Photo by Sgt Jimmy Wise / MOD / AFP)

 

Britain is to reinforce its military presence in the Arctic in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said Tuesday.

The region “is important for our communications, it is important for our trade and our travels, it is important for our freedoms,” said Wallace as he visited troops at Bardufoss in Norway, a cold weather training base for Royal Air Force, British Army and Royal Navy helicopter crews.

The Russian operation in Ukraine means London must step up its land and sea surveillance in the region, Wallace told a press conference, underlining “a commitment to increase the amount of surveying we do across the sea and land.

“We are going to effectively, permanently, have a … Marine strike group permanently … active in the Nordics,” said Wallace as he underlined British commitment to protecting “our infrastructure, the cables that we see Russia target to make us vulnerable”.

Britain participates in biennial exercises with partners in the North Atlantic but the Russian invasion of Ukraine has seen the area take on added strategic importance.

Wallace’s Norwegian counterpart Odd Roger Enoksen said that his country, as a member of NATO but also a neighbour of Russia, “wants more allied activity up North”.

He further noted, “The UK is our most important ally in Europe.”

Some 30,000 troops from 25 NATO countries as well as non-member partners Sweden and Finland are currently on manoeuvres in Norway’s far north, testing the alliance’s capacity to defend against aggression.

AFP

Troops Kill 12 Bandits Involved In Attack On Kaduna Airport

A file photo of Nigerian troops in transit.

 

The military on Monday said it had killed 12 bandits involved in Saturday’s attack on the Kaduna Airport.

It also said the attack took place six kilometres away from the terminal point and outside the airport perimetre fence.

An airport staff was killed during the attack.

READ ALSO: Reps Minority Caucus Demands Investigation Over Kaduna Airport Attack

Speaking during an on-the-spot assessment of the airport on Monday, the Garrison Commander of One Mechanized Division of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Uriah Opuene and the Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said twelve of the bandits were killed through an air strike by troops of the Nigerian Airforce.

They added that ground troops have successfully taken the battle to the enclave of the bandits inside the forest.

The officials declared the Kaduna International Airport as safe for passengers and staff.

They said the bandits do not have the capacity to attack the airport due to heavy security presence in the airport general area.

Bandits Kill Village Head, 19 Others In Zamfara

A file photo of two armed men.

 

No fewer than twenty persons have been killed by bandits in Ganar-Kiyawa village of Adabka District, Bukkuyum Local Government Area of Zamfara State

The latest attack happened on Sunday morning at about 8:30 am when the gunmen stormed the community and started shooting sporadically, killing 20 persons including the village head.

Channels Television gathered that the bandits also attacked some surrounding villages, looted shops, and carted away some valuables

A source from the area who pleaded anonymity said that communities under Adabka ward have been witnessing a series of attacks and abductions from the bandits.


RELATED:

Bandits Have Displaced 700,000 People In Zamfara – Govt
Police Arrest 30 Suspects For Complicity In Banditry, Kidnapping, Other Violent Crimes


 

Bandits Attack Anytime

“Today’s (Sunday) attack was a major one; they have been coming almost on daily basis to abduct people, major women, and children,” the source told Channels Television.

He said residents of Ganar Kiyawa have been sleeping in the bush for the fear of being attacked by the bandits in their homes.

When asked about the response of security agencies, he said the military was only stationed at Adabka and Gwashi town, leaving other villages vulnerable to bandits’ attack

“The security agencies are not enough to mount all the villages around. We only have a military presence in two major places, Adabka town, and Gwashi.  All other villages around are left uncovered by the security agencies so these people (bandits) can just go out anytime they wish to and attack people,” he explained.

Police authorities in the state are yet to confirm the latest attack.

Russian Military Says It Has Control Of Ukraine’s Kherson

This video grab taken from a handout footage released by the Russian Defence Ministry on March 1, 2022, shows Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov holding a briefing. Russian Defence Ministry / AFP

 

The Russian army claimed on Wednesday it had taken control of the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson as Moscow’s invasion of the pro-Western country entered its seventh day.

“The Russian divisions of the armed forces have taken the regional centre of Kherson under full control,” defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in televised remarks. He claimed that public services and transport were operating as usual.

“The city is not experiencing shortages of food and essential goods,” he added.
He said talks were underway between the Russian army and local authorities on maintaining order, protecting the population, and keeping public services functioning.

READ ALSO: US Says Russian Advance On Ukraine Capital, Kyiv, Stalled

Kherson’s mayor Igor Kolykhaiev said in a post on Facebook: “We are still Ukraine. Still firm.”

Apparently contradicting the Russian army’s claims, he said he needed to find a way to “collect the (bodies of the) dead” and “restore electricity, gas, water, and heating where they are damaged.”

“But I warn you right away: to complete these tasks today means to perform a miracle,” he added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin last Thursday ordered troops to invade pro-Western Ukraine to “de-militarise” and “denazify” the country.

All in all, the Russian military damaged more than 1,500 military facilities in Ukraine, Konashenkov said on Wednesday, adding that 58 planes, 46 drones, and 472 tanks and other armoured vehicles had been destroyed.

AFP

Russian Strikes Destroy World’s Largest Plane In Ukraine

AFP

 

The largest plane in the world — Ukraine’s Antonov-225 cargo plane — was destroyed by Russian strikes outside Kyiv on the fourth day of Moscow’s invasion, Ukraine’s state-owned Ukroboronprom group said Sunday.

“Russian invaders destroyed the flagship of the Ukrainian aviation, the AN-225” at the Antonov airport in Gostomel near Kyiv, the group said in a statement.

The aircraft was unique to the world, at 84 meters long (276 feet) it could transport up to 250 tonnes (551,000 pounds) of cargo at a speed of up to 850 kilometres per hour (528 mph).  It had been named “Mriya”, which means “dream” in Ukrainian.

“This was the world’s largest aircraft, AN-225 ‘Mriya'” Ukraine’ Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted Sunday.

“Russia may have destroyed our ‘Mriya’. But they will never be able to destroy our dream of a strong, free and democratic European state. We shall prevail!”, he added.

READ ALSO: Ukraine Forms ‘International Brigade’ To Fight Russia

Gostomel airport has seen violent clashes since the start of Russia’s invasion, launched by President Vladimir Putin Thursday.

The Russian army has said it is trying to seize strategic infrastructure.
Weapons manufacturer Ukroboronprom estimated that restoring the “Mriya” would cost over $3 billion (2.7 billion euros) and could take over five years.

“Our mission is to ensure that these expenses are covered by Russia, which deliberately inflicted damage on Ukraine’s aviation,” the group said.
Initially built as part of the Soviet aeronautical program, the An-225 made its first flight in 1988.

After years of not flying after the fall of the Soviet Union, the only existing copy made a test flight in 2001 in Gostomel, about 20 kilometres from Kyiv.
It has been operated by Ukraine’s Antonov Airlines for cargo flights and was in high demand during the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

AFP

Katsina Abduction: FG Asked To Deploy Military Jets To Fight Bandits

A file photo of NAF personnel with an Alpha-jet of the Nigerian Air Force. Photo: [email protected]

 

The Federal Government has been advised to deploy fighter jets in Katsina and other states where bandits are attacking innocent citizens.

This formed part of the resolutions reached during Wednesday’s plenary in the Senate Chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

In a motion moved by the lawmaker representing Katsina South senatorial district, Senator Bello Mandiya, the lawmakers were informed of the recent attack in the north-western state.

Senator Mandiya, who cited orders 41 and 51 to seek the Leave of the Senate to present the motion, stated that 38 of his constituents were abducted by bandits during the attack which occurred on Sunday.

The Senate, in its resolution, urged the security agencies to comb hideouts of the kidnappers in a bid to rescue the persons abducted by the gunmen.

It also resolved the Federal Government to send enough military personnel and fighter jets to apprehend the bandits and restore normalcy in the areas.

[READ ALSO] #EndSARS Protest: Senate Calls For Holistic Reform Of Police Force


 

Channels Television had reported the invasion of Ruwan-Godiya village in Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina by gunmen on Sunday evening.

A community leader in the village, Mohammed Murtala, had said 38 people could not be accounted for following the attack.

He added that the bandits armed with sophisticated weapons stormed the village on over 60 motorcycles, and started shooting sporadically into the air to cause panic among villages.

Although police authorities in Katsina confirmed the attack, they gave a contrary figure of persons forcefully taken away by the assailants.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Gambo Isah, said a total of 29 people were abducted, and a team of security operatives has since been deployed to rescue them.

“Twenty-nine people were reported by the community to have been abducted and it is even possible that some of the victims might have escaped and are trying to find their way back home,” he had told Channels Television on Tuesday.

“We have, however, increased the number of security operatives, including the number of mobile policemen in the community while we are at the same time making every effort to ensure that all the abducted victims are rescued.”

UN Urges World To Turn The Screw On Myanmar Junta

 

The United Nations urged the world on Friday to ramp up the pressure on Myanmar’s junta to cease violence against the country’s own people and quickly restore civilian rule.

One year on since the military seized power, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said the country’s people had paid a high price in terms of lives and freedoms lost.

Bachelet said that while there had been near-universal condemnation of the coup and the ensuing violence, she branded the international response as “ineffectual”, saying it “lacks a sense of urgency commensurate to the magnitude of the crisis”.

“It is time for an urgent, renewed effort to restore human rights and democracy in Myanmar and ensure that perpetrators of systemic human rights violations and abuses are held to account,” she said.

The former Chilean president said the UN Security Council and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations had not done enough to convince the junta to facilitate humanitarian access.

Bachelet said she had spoken with civil liberties defenders in Myanmar who were pleading with the international community not to abandon them.

“I urge governments — in the region and beyond — as well as businesses, to listen to this plea,” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said.

Deaths, Detentions and Impunity

Myanmar’s military seized power on February 1 last year, ousting the civilian government and arresting its de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

The junta has waged a bloody crackdown on dissent.

The UN Human Rights Office said that since the coup, at least 1,500 people had been killed by the military in a brutal effort to crush dissent, while thousands more would have been killed in the wider armed conflict and violence.

At least 11,787 people have been arbitrarily detained for voicing their opposition to the military, the office said, of whom 8,792 remain in custody.

At least 290 have died in detention, many likely due to the use of torture, it added.

Bachelet said the current crisis was built upon the impunity with which the military leadership waged a campaign of violence against the Rohingya minority four years ago.

“As long as impunity prevails, stability in Myanmar will be a fiction. Accountability of the military remains crucial to any solution going forward — the people overwhelmingly demand this,” she said.

Bachelet’s office is due to publish a report in March detailing the human rights situation in Myanmar since the coup.