Sixteen Soldiers Killed In Central Mali Attack

Mali, officially the Republic of Mali, is a landlocked country in West Africa.
Mali, officially the Republic of Mali, is a landlocked country in West Africa.

 

Sixteen soldiers were killed and 10 wounded in an attack in central Mali on Wednesday, security and health officials in the war-torn Sahel state said. 

Mali’s army had earlier said five soldiers had been killed and eight wounded. However, a health official working in central Mali said the death toll had risen to 16, with 10 soldiers injured.

A security source, who requested anonymity, confirmed the toll.

In its statement, Mali’s army said that troops had repelled a “complex IED attack,” referring to an improvised explosive device.

Mali has been struggling to contain an Islamist insurgency that first erupted in the north in 2012 and has since claimed thousands of military and civilian lives.

Despite the presence of thousands of French and UN troops, the conflict has engulfed central Mali and spread to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.

READ ALSO: France Warns Mali Against Russian Wagner Mercenary Deal

Central Mali has become one of the most violent hotspots of the Sahel-wide conflict, where ethnic killings and attacks on government forces are frequent.

Four Malian soldiers were killed by an IED blast in the region on September 20. A jihadist ambush also killed five soldiers in central Mali on September 12.

Laying roadside bombs — or IEDs — is a common tactic of jihadist groups in the region.

AFP

Two Soldiers Killed As Troops Repel ESN Attack In Enugu

New Salary Scale Has Not Been Approved For Armed Forces – DHQ
A file photo of soldiers.

 

Two soldiers were killed during a firefight between troops of the Nigerian Army and Eastern Security Network (ESN) members at Adani community of Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State.

This was contained in a statement signed on Wednesday by Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu.

The incident occurred when the troops were trying to repel an attack by the ESN on troops’ location at Iggah/Asaba checkpoint.

READ ALSO: I Deeply Regret Our Efforts Have Not Led To Degradation Of Bandits – El-Rufai

“Nigerian Army troops deployed to checkmate the activities of gunmen at Adani community of Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State, yesterday 13 July 2021, repelled Eastern Security Network (ESN) gun attack on troops’ location at Iggah/Asaba checkpoint.

“Sadly, during the firefight that ensued, two soldiers paid the supreme price. Troops are currently on the trail of the criminals,” Nwachukwu said in the statement.

The Nigeria Army, therefore, assured the general public of its commitment to provide adequate security in the general area in collaboration with other security agencies.

They also urge members of the public to complement the effort of the security agencies by remaining law-abiding and provide useful information on the fleeing gunmen.

Two Soldiers Die As Army Kills 12 Terrorists In Borno

Borno is situated in northeast Nigeria.

 

Troops of the Nigerian Army 152 Task Force Battalion in conjunction with the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai on Sunday neutralised 12 Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists.

A statement issued on Monday by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, said the terrorists, who attempted to infiltrate the Forward Operational Base at Bula Yobe in Borno State came mounted on gun trucks and several motorcycles but were met with heavy volume of fire from the vigilant troops, subsequently forcing them to retreat.

The troops sustained the firefight and successfully neutralised 12 terrorists, with several others fleeing with gunshot wounds.

Two soldiers were, however, killed in the process, while five others sustained varying degrees of injury and have been evacuated by the Air component of OPHK to a medical facility, where they are currently receiving medical attention.

The troops seized some items such as one gun truck, one Self Propelled Gun-9, one Dushika gun, one mounted QJC Machine Gun, one Light Machine Gun and five AK 47 Rifles.

Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Faruk Yahaya, has lauded the land troops and the air component for their synergy and quick response.

He charged the troops to maintain the tempo and vehemently hold their ground, to deny the terrorists freedom of action.

Brigadier General Nwachukwu noted that the general area within FOB Bula Yobe is now calm and under the control of troops of the battalion as further exploitation by the resilient troops is ongoing.

Residents, Two Soldiers Die As Boko Haram Attacks Borno Town

In this file photo, a man is seen holding some guns tied together.

 

An attack by Boko Haram terrorists has left some residents killed in Ajiri town in Borno State, north-east Nigeria.

The Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, confirmed the attack on the town in a statement on Monday, but he did not give the actual number of locals killed by the terrorists.

He noted that insurgents on a criminal mission carried out the attack on Ajiri in Konduga Local Government Area (LGA) of the state on Sunday.

Yerima added that the terrorists burned nine houses in parts of the town before they were engaged by the troops of Operation Hadin Kai deployed in the area.

“The retreating terrorists went away with various degrees of gunshot injuries while the gallant troops are on their chase.

“Unfortunately, however, two personnel paid the supreme price in the resulting encounter,” said the army spokesman who did not state whether any of the insurgents was killed by the soldiers.

He explained that the attack on Ajiri came a day after troops successfully thwarted an attempt by the terrorists to infiltrate Rann – a town that serves as the headquarters of Kala Balge LGA of the state.

The terrorists, in their numbers, were said to have attempted to disrupt the peace in the border town on Saturday last week.

They were, however, met with stiff resistance as the soldiers in the area took them on a fierce firefight that lasted about an hour.

Following the gunfight, the insurgents withdrew in disarray with a large number of them suffering fatal injuries, leaving behind several weapons and ammunition.

Yerima listed some of the items recovered by the troops to include an anti-aircraft gun barrel, an AK 47 rifle, a hand-held communication radio, and different calibres of ammunition, among others.

In his reaction, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, commended the troops for their resilience and determination to keep their areas free of terrorist activities.

He also urged them not to be distracted by the progress made but to sustain the renewed vigour in discharging their duties.

Saudi Executes Three Soldiers For ‘High Treason’

Medina, Qatif, Saudi Arabia
Map of Saudi Arabia

 

Saudi Arabia on Saturday executed three soldiers for “high treason”, the defence ministry said.

The soldiers were found guilty of “the crime of high treason in cooperation with the enemy” in a way that threatens the kingdom and its military interests, the ministry said in a statement published by the official Saudi Press Agency.

The statement named the three soldiers — Mohammed bin Ahmed, Shaher bin Issa and Hamoud bin Ibrahim — without identifying who they were accused of colluding with.

READ ALSO: World Leaders Pay Tribute To Prince Philip

The announcement comes as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the 35-year-old heir to the throne, consolidates his grip on power and as a Saudi-led military campaign intensifies in neighbouring Yemen.

Prince Mohammed is already viewed as the country’s de facto ruler, controlling all the major levers of government, from defence to the economy.

He holds the title of defence minister, while his younger brother Prince Khalid bin Salman is the deputy.

Over the past three years, the crown prince has mounted a sweeping crackdown on critics and rivals, with the imprisonment of prominent royal family members, business tycoons, clerics and activists.

In March last year, Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, a brother of King Salman, and the monarch’s nephew Prince Mohammed bin Nayef were detained, multiple sources said, as the crown prince sought to stamp out traces of internal dissent.

Saudi authorities have not publicly commented on their ongoing detention.

Riyadh led a military coalition into Yemen in March 2015 to prop up the internationally recognised government, but it has struggled to oust the Iran-backed Huthi rebels.

It has also faced a surge in missile and drone attacks against the kingdom.

Fighting has also intensified for the key Yemeni region of Marib, with 53 pro-government and Huthi rebel fighters dead in the past 24 hours, loyalist military officials said Saturday.

The Huthis have been trying to seize oil-rich Marib, the government’s last significant pocket of territory in the north, since February.

AFP

Three Soldiers, Five Villagers Killed As Bandits Attack Zamfara LGA

A photo showing the map of Zamfara, a state in north-west Nigeria.

 

No fewer than three Soldiers and five villagers lost their lives following an attack by bandits in Kabasa village of Zamfara State.

The victims were killed while repelling bandits’ attack in Magami District, Gusau Local Government Area of the state.

A source who confirmed the incident to Channels TV on Wednesday said the bandits were engaged in a fight with the people of Kabasa village who came out in their large numbers to protect themselves when the bandits entered their village.

“The bandits and the villagers fought for more than three hours before the military men who were stationed in Magami town came to the scene for help,” he said.

The bandits also lost many of their members but they took away their dead bodies.

Reacting, the Zamfara State Government expressed shock at the reported attack by the recalcitrant bandits who unleashed mayhem on innocent people in Kabasa village.

In a statement by the state Commissioner for Information, Ibrahim Dosara said, “The Executive Governor is saddened and disturbed by this sad event and strongly condemned it which led to the loss of lives in the village.”

READ ALSO: Kano Govt Confirms Four Dead, 284 Hospitalised Over ‘Strange Disease’

The governor also extended his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and prayed to God to grant the souls of the departed, eternal rest.

“The government has already directed security agencies in the state to carry out a full investigation into the incident and report back to the government for action.”

Meanwhile, the standing committee for the assessment of damages constituted by the state government has been instructed to visit the community to assess the level of damages inflicted on the community.

People of the affected community in particular and the state in general, are also advised to remain law-abiding and go about their normal businesses.

All efforts to get comments from Operation Hadarin Daji proved abortive.

Mass Resignation In Army: Lawmakers Seek Improved Welfare For Soldiers

A file photo of a soldier sitting on a military truck in the Mpape area of Abuja on December 28, 2019. PHOTO: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The House of Representatives has called for improved welfare for troops and effective delivery of welfare packages across the ranks.

This was the position of the lawmakers during plenary on Tuesday at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

They made the call following the consideration of the findings and recommendations of a report of the House Committee on Army.

A total of 356 troops of the Nigerian Army were reported to have resigned from the service in July 2020, a development that sparked controversy from various quarters.

The soldiers were said to have tendered their resignations at the time because they had lost interest in the job due to poor welfare and claims that the army was not well equipped to battle insurgents.

This caught the attention of the lawmakers who deliberated on the matter and mandated the House Committee on Army to carry out a thorough investigation on July 14, 2020.

Seven months after the directive, the committee submitted its report after concluding its investigation into the mass resignation of the soldiers.

 

The Way To Go

While presenting the report of the committee, the Chairman of the committee, Abdulrazak Namdas, stated that it was not new for such resignations to happen as it occurred almost annually in the military.

He explained that the recommendations of the report were based on the fact that the soldiers that resigned were mostly citing poor welfare as being the main reason for wanting to leave the service of the army.

A file photo of some members of the House of Representatives during plenary. Photo: Twitter- @HouseNGR

 

The lawmaker stressed the need for the Nigerian government to ensure military personnel were well motivated to defend the nation’s territory and overcome security threats – home or abroad.

Part of the recommendations of the report read, “That the Nigerian Army should improve on the welfare of its personnel, especially those in battlefields or other combat operations to further make the soldiers more committed to their jobs and to the nation at large.

“That there should be effective monitoring or follow up in the delivery of the welfare packages in all the army formations to ensure that they reach out to all the beneficiaries (the soldiers) in a fair and equitable manner.

“That the army should continuously embark on orientation of soldiers – both old and new – about the reality of their jobs and the need to be committed to their country. This will reduce the number of soldiers leaving the army due to loss of interest.”

According to the report, the number of disengagements is far lower than the enlistment in the army in the last five years.

It stated that about 6,752 personnel were disengaged and 25,655 were enlisted, adding that not all the soldiers who voluntarily resigned were actively involved in combat operations.

Two Locals Die As Soldiers Kill Several Bandits In Kaduna

A file photo of soldiers on patrol in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

 

Two persons have been killed by bandits during an attack on Garawa village of Fatika District in Giwa Local Government Area (LGA) of Kaduna State.

The bandits were said to have killed one Alhaji Saadu at his residence and kidnapped some indigenes of the community during the attack.

This was confirmed by the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan, on Monday in Kaduna.

According to him, bandits killed another local, Suleiman Audu, in Angwan Dan Yaya village of the same district.

Aruwan noted that the assailants raided Doka village also in Fatika District and abducted some villagers in the process.

He disclosed that military personnel killed several bandits during air raids on communities in Giwa, Birnin Gwari, Igabi, and Chikun LGAs.

The commissioner confirmed that the raids were conducted in Sabon Birnin, Rikau, Kaya, Kerawa, Galadimawa, Fatika, Kidandan, Saulawa, Dogon Dawa, Ngade Allah, Kuduru, Yadi, Damari, and Takama villages.

Other villages include Sabuwa, Ungwar Yako, and its connecting track to Kuduru, as well as the Kaduna Birnin-Gwari Road, all in Birnin Gwari, Chikun, Igabi, and Giwa LGAs.

According to the operational feedback to the Kaduna State government, Rikau was observed to be active with bandits and the location was engaged accordingly, leading to the killing of several bandits.

About 3km south-east of Saulawa, the Commissioner said bandits were seen fleeing from an air raid with herds of cattle and were subsequently engaged and neutralised.

In another mission at Maganda village, two bandits were said to have been engaged and killed by the fighter jet crew as they made an attempt to escape.

On the other hand, ground troops reported bandits’ activities at Gatarawa, close to Rumana and while the crew did not establish clear contact, the commissioner explained that the location was strafed with probing shots into the dense vegetation.

He added that ground troops at Dogon Dawa and Sabon Birni reported a calm situation while other areas covered were the same with no suspicious activity observed.

In his reaction, Governor Nasir El-Rufai mourned the residents killed by the bandits and condoled with their families.

He also prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured and urged the security agencies to step up responses in the area towards curbing such attacks.

Four Soldiers Who Tortured Civilian To Death Bag Jail Terms

The four soldiers and the another said to have killed a 12-year-old boy appear before the 7 Division General Court Marshal in Borno State on January 12, 2021.

 

Four soldiers have been sentenced to jail terms ranging from one to four years for torturing a civilian to death.

The erring soldiers are Sani Ishaya, Bidemi Fabiyi, Abdulrasheed Adamu, and Bala Musa.

They were sentenced on Tuesday following their arraignment for manslaughter by the Nigerian Army before the 7 Division General Court Marshal, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maimalari Cantonment in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

Ishaya, who was arraigned along with the others for torturing Peter Apogu to death over suspected theft, was sentenced to four years imprisonment.

His accomplice Fabiyi was slammed with two years imprisonment while Adamu and Musa got one year each for their involvement in the crime.

This photo taken on January 12, 2021, shows a banner with an inscription of the 7 Division General Court Marshal in Borno State.

 

Similarly, another soldier was sentenced to three years imprisonment for unprofessional conduct and use of a firearm for unauthorised public display at a wedding, leading to the death of a 12-year-old boy.

In his reaction, the father of the minor thanked the military authorities for dispensing justice, three years after the crime was committed.

Counsel to the defendants, Adetutu Oriyomi, thanked the court for a fair judgement and blame the soldiers’ conducts on ignorance.

On the other hand, Aja Emmanuel, a lance corporal, was deranked for assaulting a civilian suspected of theft in his Area of Responsibility.

In this photo taken on January 12, 2021, a signpost is seen at the 7 Division General Court Marshal in Borno State.

 

The highpoint of the court martial’s proceedings was the sentencing of a soldier arraigned for murder to death by hanging.

The court tried the erring soldier, Trooper Azunna Maduabuchi, and established that he opened fire at close range, emptying nine rounds of his magazine at the adjutant of his unit, Lieutenant Babakaka Ngorgi, killing him instantly.

Maduabuchi was serving at the 212 Battalion Bama when he committed the offence in July 2020.

He was angry that his application for travel leave to enable him to rectify some problems with his bank was turned down by the ill-fated adjutant.

President of the 7 Division General Court Marshal, Brigadier General Arikpo Ekubi, reads a ruling in Borno State on January 12, 2021.

 

In his ruling, the President of the Court Martial, Brigadier General Arikpo Ekubi, said the trooper betrayed the trust bestowed on him by the Nigerian Army.

According to Ekubi, the offence has a mandatory sentence for the murderer who is to suffer death by firing squad in accordance with Section 106 of the Armed Forces Act.

Seven soldiers were sentenced on Tuesday by the court.

Troops Rescue Three Abducted Victims, Kill Bandit, Several Insurgents

New Salary Scale Has Not Been Approved For Armed Forces – DHQ
A file photo of soldiers.

 

Troops of Operation Whirl Stroke have rescued three persons kidnapped by bandits in Nasarawa State.

The Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, John Enenche Major General, disclosed this in a statement on Friday.

He explained that the rescue operation was conducted on Thursday at Mararaba Udege general area in Nasarawa Local Government Area.

Enenche noted that the soldiers killed one bandit in the ensuing firefight while the kidnapped victims were subsequently reunited with their respective families.

“The Armed Forces of Nigeria will not relent until all enemies of the country are neutralised and normalcy is restored to all troubled zones,” he said.

 

Several Terrorists Killed

Elsewhere, the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation Lafiya Dole inflicted heavy casualties on Boko Haram terrorists in the Sambisa Forest area of Borno State.

The military spokesman noted that the troops took out the terrorists’ hideouts in Alagarno, including a compound housing some high-value Boko Haram leaders.

“The compound, concealed under thick vegetation and located 2.3Km North East of KAFA, was being used by the terrorists to coordinate their nefarious activities.

“The destruction of the locations was achieved through multiple air strikes executed on 6 January 2021 as the ATF dispatched appropriate force packages of Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets and attack helicopters to engage the target areas in day and night raids,” he stated.

Enenche noted that the insurgents were spotted under the dense vegetation of the locations and the NAF attack aircraft took turns to engage the targets, killing several of them in the process.

Army Redeploys 55 Soldiers From Battlefield After Five Years

New Salary Scale Has Not Been Approved For Armed Forces – DHQ
A file photo of soldiers.

 

Troops of the 192 Battalion of the Nigerian Army have been relieved from the battlefield after serving in the Operation Lafiya Dole for several years.

Some of the combatants who heaved a sigh of relief on Monday following their redeployment from the battlefield had fought the counter-insurgency war in the North East for at least five years.

A mini de-induction ceremony was held in their honour at the Headquarters of the 7 Division in Maimalari Barracks in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

In his remarks, the Acting General Officer Commanding 7 Division, Brigadier General Abdul-Khalifa Ibrahim, commended the soldiers for their outstanding performance.

He urged them to remain disciplined as they leave the war zone to reunite with their respective families and other members of the public.

According to Brigadier General Ibrahim, the battalion will be de-inducted further at the Nigerian Army School of Infantry Jaji, Kaduna State.

He, therefore, encouraged them to go on courses to improve their professionalism and chances of promotion in the service.

“When you go back, the way you will interact with the civil populace is different from what you have been doing fighting Boko Haram,” the GOC told the soldiers.

He added, “You must take into consideration attributes that we expect a soldier to have – discipline, integrity, respect for others, courage, and the rest.

“We don’t want you to go and start fighting people and say you have come from the North East.”

One of the major achievements recorded by troops of the 192 Battalion was their participation in the liberation of Gwoza, a town in southern Borno, five years ago.

Although it is not clear how many of them were originally posted to the North East, a total of 55 soldiers were debriefed.

Deploying Soldiers Not The Answer, Buhari Should Address Nigerians – Afe Babalola

How Military Rule Affected Judiciary In Nigeria – Afe Babalola
A file photo of legal icon, Afe Babalola.

 

Legal icon and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Afe Babalola, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to address Nigerians.

He made the call on Wednesday in reaction to the recent happenings across the country following the recent #EndSARS protests.

“Protests against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, otherwise known as SARS or FSARS, have spread to all parts of Nigeria and beyond.

“The deployment of soldiers to the streets is not the answer. The imposition of curfews is certainly not the answer,” Babalola said in a statement.

He added, “I remember that as soon as the protests began, I had issued a press release in a similar vein on the issue appealing to the President to please address the issue at that time.

“I now again plead with him to address the root causes of the pain which the youths are complaining about.”

Youths in various parts of the country have embarked on peaceful protests in the last two weeks to demand an end to police brutality.

While the demonstrations have enjoyed the support of many political, traditional, and religious leaders, some of the protests were hijacked by thugs.

However, it was a black Tuesday on October 20, 2020, when soldiers opened fire on unarmed protesters in the Lekki toll gate axis of Lagos State.

This led to the death of some protesters while at least 28 others were injured, triggering condemnation from well-meaning Nigerians and members of the international community.

“The use of live bullets and other lethal weapons against protesting youths is not the answer. The killing of protesting youths is also not the answer.

“A protest both in fact and in law is analogous to a message which an injured toe sends to the brain complaining about unbearable pain,” said Babalola in his reaction to the shooting of the protesters.

He added, “The response by the brain and the head is normally to take steps to treat the pain to the toe.

“Any injured person who refuses to take steps to treat pains to any part of the body does so at his own peril.”

The legal icon described the President as the head of the nation, stressing that the youths were parts of the body – the nation.

He, therefore, urged President Buhari as the head to address the youths and offer remedial steps to be taken to alleviate their pains.