DHQ Denies Reports Of Detaining Children As Terrorists In Facilities

boko haram

 

The Defence Headquarters has denied reports that troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria are arbitrarily detaining children in its facilities in the North East.

The DHQ in a statement by it’s Acting Director Defence Information, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu said that children used as suicide bombers by terrorists are arrested, managed and treated as victims of war and not as suspects.

This is a reaction to a report by the Human Rights Watch, accusing the Armed Forces of Nigeria arbitrarily detaining children. The DHQ added that the apprehended children are adequately fed, profiled and de-radicalized before their release, as captured by the civil society group in its report.

“It is an established fact that Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) indoctrinate women and children who they use as suicide bombers in the theatre of operations. In the conduct of their operations, troops arrest these children while attempting to detonate explosives and provide tacit support to insurgents such as intelligence on troops’ movement and deployments.

“Contrary to HRW claims, however, the AFN manages children in the North East theatre as victims of war and not as suspects. Apprehended children are kept in secured places, where they are adequately fed, profiled and de-radicalized before their release.”

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The statement added that only profiled Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists are held in detention pending their prosecution by appropriate prosecuting agencies.

It also stated that another set of children are the ones found with some adult female Boko Haram terrorists arrested in terrorists’ enclaves during combat, and in such cases, the women opt to keep their children rather than hand them over to relations.

“While the female terrorists are kept in the detention facility, their children are given protected care in a welfare holding facility, not a detention facility, where they could be accessed by their mothers under supervision by female personnel. The children are provided with regular feeding, clothing, requisite medical attention, in-house spiritual and educational tutoring and other welfare needs.

“The DHQ, therefore, wishes to state that no children are kept and tortured in any detention facility. The children caught in the act of terrorism are moved to safe facilities such as the Borno State Rehabilitation Centre in Bulunkutu, Maiduguri, and Operation SAFE CORRIDOR, where they are de-radicalized, rehabilitated and reintegrated into the society. Those whose families could not be traced are handed over to IDP Camps officials for administration.”

The DHQ also maintained that terrorists and insurgents killed in combat cannot be regarded as extrajudicial killing.

“The AFN is a professional military with extant doctrines and Standard Operating procedures, hence, extrajudicial killing or summary execution is an aberration and not permissible in our operational engagements.”

UN Commemorates 10 Years Of North East Insurgency With Virtual Reality Experience

PHOTOS: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV/ July 31, 2019.

 

The United Nations on Wednesday launched a virtual reality experience called ‘Holding On’ to tell the stories of those who have been displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency which is now in its 10th year.

The exhibition which is open to the public is billed to last from August 1 to 15, 2019, and is also in commemoration of the World Humanitarian Day which comes up on August 19.

Attendees get to watch 360 videos that would give them a feel of the deplorable conditions that the internally displaced persons face in Nigeria.

Speaking at the event, the Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buini, called for more assistance as the states in the northeast begin the process of reconstruction as well as rehabilitation of over 1.8 million persons displaced by the Book Haram insurgency.

Army Speaks About Recent Attacks On Military Bases In North East

Army Speaks About Recent Attacks On Military Bases In North East
A file photo of troops. Source: [email protected]

 

The Nigerian Army has reacted to the reports of recent attacks by Boko Haram insurgents on some communities and military bases in the north-eastern part of the country.

The General Officer Commanding 7 Division of the Army, Brigadier General Abdulmalik Bulama, responded during an exclusive interview with Channels Television on Wednesday.

Brigadier General Bulama, who did not deny the attacks, described them as mere publicity stunts of the insurgents to stay relevant by attacking targets to keep them in the news.

READ ALSO: President Buhari Receives Ghanas Akufo-Addo In Abuja

He, however, insisted that the military was winning the war against the terrorists, despite attacks targeted at soft targets and the military.

Brigadier General Abdulmalik Bulama

 

According to the GOC, this is evident by the reclaimed territories and offensive against the insurgents by the military in the last four years.

He said, The war against terrorism is not a war that you can clinically finish within a given minute or a week or a day; so it is that understanding that will tell you.

But like I always say, you need to weigh it against where we were especially from 2015 till today.

The pre-2015, virtually every part of Borno State was under the hold of the Boko Haram but today, can we say it is so? Bulama questioned.

Brigadier General Bulama also dismissed reports of dislodgement of military bases as fake news, propaganda and an exaggeration of the reality on the ground.

He spoke to Channels Television in Dikwa during a visit to the 22 Brigade where troops were hosted to a Sallah get together by the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai.

Buratai was represented at the event by the Head of Logistics of the Army Headquarters, Major General Enobong Okon.

In the last 72 hours, there had been reports of insurgents attacking local communities and two military bases at Delwa in Damboa Local Government Area (LGA), and another in Marte LGA of Borno State.

Insurgency War: Chief Of Air Staff Charges Troops To Be Vigilant

NAF Rejects Allegation Of Bombing Wrong Settlements In Zamfara, Explains Operations
A file photo of Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar/ [email protected]

 

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, has cautioned troops to vigilant at all times and not to be caught taken unaware.

The Air Boss was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Air Vice Marshall Emmanuel Anebi, during a visit to troops of the Task Force fighting insurgency in the North East on Sunday.

“I wish to remind all of us that we are still at the frontline and we should not lose sight of the fact that we could come under attack at any time. I am not saying this to ruin the mood of the celebrations but to underscore the need to continue to maintain our vigilance at all times.”

READ ALSO: Banditry: Yari Commends NAF For Air Strikes In Zamfara

He reminded the troops of the responsibility of the military in ensuring the indivisibility of the country. As such they must not allow themselves to be taken unawares but must remain alert at all times, be undaunted and committed to the war against insurgency.

“I, therefore, enjoin you all not to rest on your oars, let us all continue to be vigilant while we celebrate and ensure we maintain the highest level of combat readiness to guarantee security during the holiday period and beyond.”

Boko Haram: Multinational Force Records Successes With ‘Operation Yancin Tafki’

 

The Multinational Joint Task Force, (MNJTF), operating in the Lake Chad region, has claimed that the leadership of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, is overwhelmed and in disarray owing to its ongoing ‘Operation Yancin Tafki’ in the North East.

The Chief of Military Public Information, MNJTF, Colonel Timothy Antigha, said the troops, made up of forces of the Lake Chad Basin countries — Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria — have been embarking on a series of well-coordinated day and night missions conducted by the Air Forces.

“As an aftermath of sustained air and land operations of the ongoing Operation Yancin Tafki, information from captured and defected Boko Haram fighters indicates that the leadership of Boko Haram terror network has been overwhelmed and are currently in disarray.”

He added that the operation has destroyed several Boko Haram logistic facilities and fighters.

“In the last 4 weeks of the Operation, about 70 Boko Haram vehicles; mostly gun trucks, facilities such as fuel dumps, weapons and ammunition have been destroyed, leading to successful and devastating air interdictions which have destroyed Boko Haram logistic facilities and fighters in Tumbum Gini, Abadam, Arege, Tumbun Rego and Dagaya environs between 7 and 11 March 2019.”

According to Col. Antigha, quoting reliable sources, internal crisis led to change of Boko Haram leadership on March 3, 2019, prompting the Islamic State West Africa Province announcing the sack of the former Boko Haram break-away leader, Abu Mus’ab Al Barnawi and the appointment of Abu Abdullahi Ibn Umar Al Barnawi, as leader of the ISWAP affiliate group.

“The frequent execution of Boko Haram commanders and fighters which have been observed in the past few months as well as the recent replacement of its leadership are clear indications of the effectiveness of recent past and ongoing Operation Yacin Tafki,” Col Antigha added.

See more photos below:

Atiku, Wife Cast Their Votes In Adamawa

PDP Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar and his wife Titilayo Atiku-Abubakar vote at Agiya polling station in Yola, Adamawa State. Luis TATO / AFP

 

Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has voted in the Presidential and National Assembly elections.

The former vice president and his wife were accredited at 10:01 and he voted a few minutes later.

After voting, the PDP candidate said he is impressed with the turnout of voters.

North East Leaders Visit Buhari In Abuja

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday received some leaders from the North East at the State House in Abuja.

A member of the delegation, Senator Ali Ndume, who spoke to journalists at the end of the meeting said the visit signaled the end of the PDP in the North East.

According to the delegation the President has so far shown much commitment to the challenges in the North East, hence their continuous support for him.

They also believe that electing another President might mean that the war against insurgency in the region will have to start afresh from the scratch.

Police Deny Reports That Officers Deployed To Fight Boko Haram Absconded

BREAKING: Police Arrest 22 Suspects Over Kaduna Violence

 

The Police have insisted that none of the 2,000 personnel deployed in the North-East to fight Boko Haram insurgents absconded from a training camp as is being reported.

Force Public Relations Officer Mr Jimoh Moshood said this in a statement on Wednesday in reaction to reports that between 167 to 190 personnel fled.

“All 2,000 policemen deployed by the Force to the North East have reported and are on the ground on combat operation in the North East fighting along with the military in the front line against Boko Haram insurgency,” Mr Moshood said.

“The 2,000 police personnel deployed are in high morale and high spirit in the operation. No police personnel absconded as alleged in the report.”

Online news website Premium Times had in an exclusive report said at least 167 police officers absconded from a training facility “after being told they would be deployed in active combat against Boko Haram insurgents”.

It added in the report that the officers did not submit their arms and official equipment in their possession and had been declared wanted by the police authorities.

In a report on the same issue, The PUNCH put the number of officers that allegedly absconded at 190.

According to the PUNCH report, one of its correspondents had seen a police wireless message which directed that the errant operatives should be arrested and produced under escort.

The Force spokesperson, however, described the reports as “untrue and absolute falsehood”, claiming they were attempts to cast aspersions on efforts by the police to fight insurgency.

“This story was investigated and it was found out not to be correct, there is no reason whatsoever that Police personnel deployed for the operations in the North-East would abscond,” he said.

The police spokesman questioned why the personnel would abscond when the Police Mobile Force (PMF) personnel have been engaged actively in the front line along with the military in the fight against Boko Haram terrorist group since the inception of the insurgency.

Read the full statement from the police below;

RE: 167 POLICE OFFICERS ABSCOND FROM DEPLOYMENT AGAINST BOKO HARAM (FULL LIST)

All 2000 Policemen deployed by the Force to the North East have reported and are on ground on combat operation in the North East fighting along with the Military in the front line against Boko Haram insurgency. 

The 2000 Police personnel deployed are in high morale and high spirit in the operation. No Police personnel absconded as alleged in the report.  

The attention of the Nigeria Police Force has been drawn to a story by Premium Times Online media, captioned “167 POLICE OFFICERS ABSCOND FROM DEPLOYMENT AGAINST BOKO HARAM (FULL LIST)”.

The Force wishes to categorically state that the story is untrue, absolute falsehood and a deliberate attempt to cast aspersions on the efforts of the Nigeria Police Force in the ongoing fight against the Boko Haram insurgency.

The insinuation in some quarters and as reported in the story that 167 out the 2000 additional Police Officers recently deployed by the IGP absconded is not correct and should be disregarded by members of the public. These 2000 Police personnel are to complement the efforts of the Military to add new impetus to the fight against the decimated Boko Haram insurgency.

This story was investigated and it was found out not to be correct, there is no reason whatsoever that Police personnel deployed for the operations in the North East would abscond. The Police Mobile Force (PMF) personnel have been engaged actively in the front line along with the Military in the fight against Boko Haram terrorist group since the inception of the insurgency.

These 2000 Police Officers recently deployed are in addition to several thousands of Police Personnel already engaged in the fight against insurgency with the Military in the North East. The list of 167 names attached to the story is fake as the Officers mentioned are on ground in the North East.

The 2000 police personnel deployed are in high morale and high spirit in the operation, the Force sees the story as a deliberate attempt to promote insurgency and dapple the morale of Officers and Men of the Police and other services who on daily basis lay down their lives to protect our dear Nation, Nigeria and ensure security of all citizenry.

Members of the public are hereby implored to disregard the story in its entirety as a pure misinformation and hearsay.

It is evidently clear that the writer of the story has never visited the venue of training or witness the deployment of the Police personnel in the operation but rely ignorantly on hearsay from misguided individuals who are being used to work against national interest and security.

The Nigeria Police Force will continue to hold the media in a very high regard as a veritable partner in ensuring adequate security and success of the fight against insurgency, however, the media are implored not allow their esteemed publication be used publish falsehood capable of misinforming and misleading the public.

Ag. DCP JIMOH MOSHOOD

FORCE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER

FORCE HEADQUARTERS

ABUJA

Army Lifts Suspension Of UNICEF’s Activities In North East

Army Lifts Suspension Of UNICEF’s Activities In North East

 

The Nigerian Army has lifted its suspension of the operations of in the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in the North East.

The decision followed an emergency meeting between the Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole and representatives of UNICEF on Friday.

Deputy Director of Public Relations of the theatre command, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, disclosed this in a statement.

He explained that the Army rescinded its decision following the intervention of well-meaning and concerned Nigerians in the matter.

READ ALSO: Army Suspends UNICEF Operations In North East

Colonel Nwachukwu revealed that during the meeting, the Theatre Command admonished the representatives of the organisation to desist from activities inimical to national security and capable of undermining the ongoing fight against terrorism and insurgency.

The command he said urged the UNICEF representatives to ensure they share information with relevant authorities whenever induction or training of new staff was being conducted in the theatre.

“Consequently, after extensive deliberations on the need to seek modalities to work harmoniously with the security agencies in the theatre of operation, the Theatre Command has henceforth lifted the three months suspension earlier imposed on UNICEF activities in North Eastern Nigeria,” the statement said.

Earlier, global human rights organisation, Amnesty International condemned the decision of the Army to suspend UNICEF operations in the region.

The Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, had described the action of the Army as an act of intimidation.

Ojigho said the suspension of UNICEF would deprive those whose lives have been devastated by the Boko Haram conflict in the region from receiving much-needed humanitarian assistance.

“We see the suspension of UNICEF as part of a wider drive to intimidate international humanitarian and human rights organisations who are working to save lives in this devastating conflict,” she alleged.

Amnesty International Condemns Suspension Of UNICEF’s Operations In North East

Amnesty International Condemns Suspension Of UNICEF’s Operations In North East

 

Global human rights organisation, Amnesty International has condemned the suspension of operations of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in the North East.

The Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, described the action of the Nigerian Army as an act of intimidation, after it suspended UNICEF operations over allegations of spying and collaborating with Boko Haram terrorists.

READ ALSO: Army Suspends UNICEF Operations In North East

“Amnesty International strongly condemns attempts by the Nigerian army to demonise UNICEF’s lifesaving work in the northeast of the country, where the Boko Haram conflict has created one of the deadliest humanitarian disasters in the world,” she said in a statement on Friday.

“We see the suspension of UNICEF as part of a wider drive to intimidate international humanitarian and human rights organisations who are working to save lives in this devastating conflict.”

Ojigho stressed that the suspension of UNICEF would deprive those whose lives have been devastated by the Boko Haram conflict in the region from receiving much-needed humanitarian assistance.

“We call on the Nigerian authorities to reverse the suspension of UNICEF immediately. The Nigerian military should focus on protecting lives rather than smearing NGOs,” she said.

Security Report From North-East Is Worrisome, Says Defence Minister

Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali

 

The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, says despite improvements in security in parts of the country, the report from the North-East is worrisome.

Dan-Ali said this on Monday while briefing journalists after a meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and security chiefs.

“We have seen a lot of improvements in the security situation in the country, especially in Zamfara and Benue states. If you go along the Niger Delta also (you will see) the same thing, but in the North East we are having worrisome reports which we looked into critically and we are taking an absolute decision on,” the minister who was also at the meeting, told journalists.

READ ALSO: 19 Feared Killed, 40 Houses Razed In Boko Haram Attack

At the meeting, which lasted for more than two and half hours, the security chiefs reviewed the security situation in the country after which the President asked them to make the country safe.

“[The President] directed that we continue to step up our game to ensure that the nation is safe and people go about their activities in a very safe environment,” said the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, who also spoke to State House correspondents after the meeting.

General Olonisakin explained that the security chiefs also briefed President Buhari about the progress made so far in the military operations in some troubled states, especially in Benue, Zamfara, and Taraba.

The meeting is President Buhari’s first official meeting since he returned to the country on Saturday after a 10-day working vacation in London.

Those at the meeting include the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, as well as the Chiefs of Air and Naval Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, and Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris; Acting Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mr Matthew Seiyefa, and Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Abubakar, were also present.

Also in attendance were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha; and the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, among others.

Buhari Pledges To Restore Devastated Communities In North-East

Buhari Pledges To Restore Devastated Communities In North-East
Ariel View of an IDP Camp in Borno State, North-east Nigeria.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has assured the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the country that his administration will leave no stone unturned in restoring their devastated communities for their immediate and safe return.

He gave the assurance on Friday in Abuja in a statement by Attah Esa, the Deputy Director of Information at the State House.

The President congratulated the 2,000 IDPs at the Kuchingoro Camp in the Federal Capital Territory who are getting set to return to their communities in the North-east.

He spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, who received the IDPs at the precincts of the Aso Rock Villa on his behalf.

President Buhari vowed that his administration would not forget citizens in their time of distress and would continue to work for the betterment and security of the people.

He also used the opportunity to thank members of the international community and Nigerians, including Mr Aliko Dangote, General T.Y. Danjuma, and other philanthropists, for their sustained efforts towards the reconstruction and rehabilitation of destroyed communities in the troubled region.

Responding on behalf of the displaced persons who were mainly women and children, Mrs Maryam Nuhu thanked President Buhari’s administration for the onslaught against the Boko Haram terrorists and the ongoing reconstruction of their communities.

She said, “Our towns and villages have been cleared of these terrorists. We can now confidently return home and pick up our lives from the points where we will meet them.

“Mr President, thanks for making this possible for us to be returning home. Our sad story took a turn for the better because of the calibre of military leaders you appointed.”