Tambuwal Asks FG To Create Special Forces To Tackle Banditry

A file photo of Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal.

 

Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal has urged the Federal Government to consider the option of creating a Special Forces to tackle banditry.

Tambuwal spoke on Wednesday when he received a delegation of the North-west Governors’ Forum led by Aminu Masari, governor of Katsina.

The delegation visited the governor to commiserate with the state over the security challenges including the recent attack on a bus that led to the killing of 23 travellers.

Governor Tambuwal said the Special Forces should comprise locals of the affected communities because they have rich knowledge of the areas.

“Thinking out of the box, we may also consider, (and I highly recommended Mr President) that we recruit immediately from communities affected by banditry for the sole purpose of addressing these challenges, train the people from those communities, arm them give them licenses, give them better weapons to face these criminals.

“This is within the law; it is thinking outside of the box. If you are finding it difficult to recruit people into the Arm Forces. Have special forces for all these areas and states affected with banditry? Recruit them purposely for this. They have knowledge of the train and the commitment to defend themselves. So, give them the backing of the law.

“So, I am appealing to Mr President to consider the possibility of taking this up and I am confident it will work out well,” the governor said.

In his address, Katsina State Governor Masari expressed his condolences to Sokoto State on the recent attacks by bandits.

He added that measures are being put in place to address the situation.

“Bandits behave worse than animals in view of the atrocities they perpetrate; people need to protect themselves,” he said.

He said the bandits terrorising Nigerians are not aliens but human beings as such Nigerians should rise in defense of themselves against the marauding bandits.

Twenty-three persons were confirmed dead last week, after an attack on travellers in Angwan Bawa, Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State.

Sokoto State Police Commissioner, Kamaludeen Okunola described the incident as unfortunate.

Air Force Graduates 203 Special Forces, CSAR Operatives To Battle Insurgents, Bandits

NAF newly graduated officers during the graduation ceremony

 

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has graduated a fresh batch of 203 Special Forces and Combat Search and Rescue Personnel (CSAR).

The combined graduation ceremony, which took place on Saturday at the Regiment Training Centre (RTC) Annex in Bauchi, comprised 162 students of the SF Course 7/2020 and 41 trainees of CSAR Course 3/2020.

Speaking during the graduation ceremony, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, charged the graduating participants to bring to bear the professional skills acquired, in the ongoing campaign to restore normalcy to restive parts of the country.

According to him, the personnel were graduating at a time when the NAF and indeed the Nation were in dire need of their special skills.

“Your job will not be an easy one as you would be required to operate under austere conditions and in hostile environments to ensure that the NAF achieves its objectives,” he said.

He further stated that, in order to bridge the capability gap in SF and CSAR operations, the NAF established the Special Operations Command (SOC) with its Headquarters in Bauchi and Quick Response Groups/Wings (QRG/QRW) in Gusau, Owerri, Ipetu-Ijesha, Daura, Birnin Gwari, Agatu, Gembu and Lafia, amongst others.

Air Marshal Abubakar disclosed that the NAF had, subsequently, trained over 1,200 personnel both overseas and locally in its bid to generate SF and CSAR teams to man the established units.

According to him, international training partners were also engaged to train NAF personnel in order to sustain SF training in the NAF.

Since its inception, the CAS said, the NAF SF has been used effectively for force protection, force projection as well as Base Defence, amongst others.

“I am happy to note here today that our SF personnel have performed commendably well when deployed in conjunction with other security agencies in various theatres of operation. Their performance has proven that enhancing the capacity and capability of our personnel is the best way of ensuring the attainment of our operational goals and objectives”, he said.

The consideration to train CSAR operatives locally, the CAS revealed, was as a result of insufficient training slots and high cost of overseas training. He further disclosed that the Directorate of Regiment was accordingly tasked to develop a local training curriculum with the objective of ensuring that the NAF has personnel capable of rescuing downed aircrew in all terrains and weather conditions anywhere in Nigeria.

“It is indeed gratifying to note that their training here is yielding the expected benefits. More so, it is evident that there is a remarkable improvement in the quality of training with the demonstration I earlier witnessed from both courses,” he said.

While congratulating the participants, the CAS urged them to imbibe the attributes of SF operatives, which include honesty, courage, perseverance and adaptability, among others.

He also implored them to always remember the NAF’s core values of ‘Integrity’, ‘Service’ and ‘Excellence’ while on their future deployments as this would ensure success in their endeavours.

While reminding the personnel that the scourge of COVID-19 was not yet over, the CAS noted that the NAF, in line with its constitutional role of providing Military Aid to Civil Authority, had been engaged in medical outreach programmes and provision of palliatives in all geo-political zones whilst also emplacing appropriate protective measures and embarking on aggressive enlightenment campaigns to educate personnel and their families on the dangers of the virus as well as how to prevent it.

Air Force Deploys Special Forces To Troubled Communities In Southern Kaduna

NAF special forces deployed to fight bandits in Southern Kaduna on August 16, 2020.

 

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has deployed additional special forces to southern Kaduna, to boost the ongoing fight against bandits and suspected ethnic militia who have been terrorising residents of the area.

The Air Officer Commanding, NAF Training Command, Air Marshal Musa Mukhtar, addressed the troops before their departure to the southern part of the state on Sunday.

He asked them to complement the efforts of the Nigerian Army troops attached to Operation Safe Haven, by providing both ground and air power during the operation against the criminal elements.

Mukhtar, however, warned the troops to respect the human rights of the people of Southern Kaduna during the operation.

He asked the team of security operatives, numbering 32 and trained in all aspects of counter-insurgency operations, to crush the bandits.

The deployment of additional troops comes as the military steps up operation to combat the rising cases of attacks by bandits and suspected ethnic militia in the area.

 

Many people have been killed with others injured, while hundreds of families have been displaced as a result of the conflict which has been lingering for many years.

In the past month, army troops, police officials, and other security agencies have been deployed to the troubled areas, even as the attacks seem unabated.

Before the departure of the additional batch of special forces, they were supported with versatile military hardware to aid the onslaught against the enemies.

NAF special forces prepare for their deployment to fight bandits in Southern Kaduna on August 16, 2020.

 

In his reaction, the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, commended NAF for the deployment of the security operatives to the troubled part of the state.

In a statement on Sunday by the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, the governor said he received the news of the deployment with joy and appreciation.

According to the statement, the deployment of the special forces to southern Kaduna is a demonstration of the collective will of President Muhammadu Buhari, El-Rufai, the Defence Headquarters, and NAF to tackle the security challenges in the state.

“We are looking forward to meeting the officers and men of the NAF special forces shortly after their induction,” it said.

Insecurity: Special Forces Arrive In Southern Kaduna

Troops of the Special Forces deployed by the Defence Headquarters arrive Southern Kaduna on August 14, 2020.

 

The Special Forces approved by the Defence Headquarters to halt the senseless killings and restore peace in Southern Kaduna have arrived Kafanchan ahead of their deployment to the various flashpoints in the area later today.

The Special Forces were drawn from the Nigerian Army.

They were received at Sector 7, the headquarters of Operation Safe Haven, by the Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan.

Addressing the troops, the Commissioner charged them to take the battle to the bandits and ensure that peace and security are restored to southern Kaduna.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Kill Bauchi Lawmaker, Abduct Wives And One-Year-Old Daughter

He also thanked the Defence headquarters for graciously approving the deployment of the troops to Southern Kaduna, and however, assures the support and cooperation of the state government in making the operation a huge success.

Aruwan also called on non-state actors, especially residents of the affected communities to give their maximum support to the troops during the period of the operation through intelligence sharing mechanism.

Kaduna has been experiencing a series of attacks with a recent one carried out four weeks ago.

On July 19, 21 people were killed while 28 others sustained various degrees of injuries when gunmen attacked Kukum Daji Village of Kaura Local Government Area of the state.

According to the President of the Community, Mr. Yashen Titus, the gunmen suspected to be herdsmen, invaded the venue of a wedding party in the community at about 10 pm.

Similarly, on July 7, no fewer than 38 persons lost their lives in separate attacks on two villages in Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna state on July 7.

The Council Chairman, Emmanuel Adamu, who confirmed the attack, said the gunmen unleashed mayhem on Ankpon Village in Nandu and Kabamu Village in Fadan Karshi, all of Numana district.

While describing the incident as unfortunate, he said the gunmen killed 38 persons including women and children.

See Photos Below:

Kyrgyzstan Special Forces Arrest Ex-President After Violent Clashes

A member of the Kyrgyz special forces points his weapon during clashes between supporters of Kyrgyzstan’s former president and law enforcement, in the village of Koy-Tash, some 20 kilometres from Bishkek on August 8, 2019. Vyacheslav OSELEDKO / AFP

 

Kyrgyzstan’s former president was detained in a major security operation Thursday, police said, a day after clashes between his supporters and law enforcement left one dead and dozens injured.

The Central Asian state, which has seen two revolutions in less than two decades, is on the brink of crisis amid a standoff between ex-leader Almazbek Atambayev and his protege-turned-foe President Sooronbai Jeenbekov.

Atambayev was detained by security services at his residence in the village of Koi-Tash near the capital Bishkek, after the second raid in two days on the compound.

A police statement said Atambayev “will be delivered to the relevant authorities for further investigative measures.”

An AFP correspondent at the scene saw security forces drive a military vehicle through the gates of the complex where the former head of state has been holed up for weeks.

Officers broke up a crowd of Atambayev supporters using tear gas and smoke grenades, the journalist said.

Police said that no-one had died during the second operation.

Atambayev has ignored police summonses for questioning on corruption charges that supporters say are politically motivated.

On Wednesday an already tense political situation escalated when the national security service announced an operation to take Atambayev from the residence outside Bishkek, capital of the Muslim-majority nation of six million people.

The operation failed and descended into violence.

 Security officers beaten 

The health ministry said a special forces officer had died from a gunshot wound and the head of the Chui province police department was in a critical condition after being concussed during the clashes on Wednesday.

The ministry said 52 people were injured, around half of them law enforcement officers.

A further five people — one civilian and four servicemen — were taken to hospital after the operation on Thursday.

Early Thursday President Jeenbekov convened a meeting of the state security council and an emergency session of parliament.

Jeenbekov said during the security council meeting that Atambayev had “rudely flouted the Constitution and laws of the Kyrgyz Republic” by resisting detention.

 Putin intervention 

Parliament in June stripped Atambayev of his immunity as a former president and the state prosecutor brought corruption charges against him.

The standoff has drawn in Russia — the country’s Soviet-era master and traditional political patron — where hundreds of thousands of Kyrgyz work as migrant labourers.

Last month Russian President Vladimir Putin met with both Jeenbekov and Atambayev in Moscow in a bid to defuse the confrontation.

Erica Marat, Associate Professor at the National Defense University in Washington D.C., said Atambayev’s outreach to Putin shows that “he clearly sees himself as a viable political figure in Kyrgyzstan“, emboldening his stance against the incumbent leader.

Marat said the pair’s confrontation is symptomatic of Kyrgyzstan‘s failure to reform its security institutions and courts.

“Jeenbekov must now decide whether to escalate violent confrontation with Atambayev’s supporters or negotiate,” Marat said.

 Ex-friends 

Jeenbekov and Atambayev were once friends, and the former leader backed the incumbent in 2017 elections that marked an unprecedented peaceful transfer of power between heads of state.

But they fell out just months after Jeenbekov’s inauguration as Atambayev publicly criticised his successor and security services arrested several key Atambayev allies.

Political analyst and video blogger Azim Azimov raised fears that the standoff might devolve into a “civil conflict… if both sides decide to take it to the end.”

“This is the most scary potential outcome,” he said in a video published Thursday morning.

AFP

NAF Graduates 175 Special Forces Personnel Trained By Indigenous Instructors

NAF Graduates 175 Special Forces Personnel Trained By Indigenous Instructors

 

As part of its contribution towards boosting internal security operations across the country, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Friday graduated another batch of Special Forces (SF) personnel.

The 175 graduating students of SF Course 4/2019 successfully completed the 10-week rigorous and intensive training in asymmetric warfare at the Regiment Training Centre (RTC), Kaduna, NAF spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, revealed in a statement.

It was the first time in the history of the service that SF personnel would be trained wholly by NAF instructors.

Daramola said before now, the NAF had engaged the services of an Israeli company, the Four Troops Team, to train its personnel, aside overseas training in various countries such as Belarus, China and Pakistan.

Addressing the participants, the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said the Air Force had made deliberate efforts to re-position the service into a highly professional fighting force in the last four years.

According to him, this includes the training of over 1,000 SF personnel as part of the overall strategy for capacity building.

The Air Chief promised to sustain the training of SF personnel to enhance NAF force projection posture, while also improving its base defence/force protection capability.

He expressed satisfaction with the quality of the training, noting that NAF SF personnel were making huge impacts in the fight against terrorism and armed banditry across the country.

Air Marshal Abubakar listed examples of such achievements to include the recent arrest of armed bandits at Birnin Gwari in Kaduna, as well as the professional conduct of personnel deployed to support the police during the general elections.

He challenged the participants in the training to be prepared to do their best in all circumstances as their future assignments would require courage, good judgement and commitment.

The Air Marshal also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the priority attention given to the requirements of the NAF.

“The support provided by the Federal Government has no doubt positively impacted on the NAF and led to increased aircraft serviceability and availability as well as improved training and enhanced facilities,” he said.

See the photos below:

Kidnapping: IGP Deploys Special Forces To Abuja-Kaduna Highway

kidnapping, igp, special forcesThe acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, has deployed Special Forces to help curb activities of kidnappers, armed robbers, cattle rustlers and other criminal elements along the highway and surrounding states.

This is in response to the rampant cases of kidnapping along the Kaduna-Abuja highway.

Inaugurating the special strike force on Friday, the IG who was represented by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of operations, Joshak Habila, said that the operatives would be dispatched to various locations in Kaduna, Niger and the Federal Capital Territory to protect lives and property of road users and residents of the areas.

The IGP assured citizens living around the area that the arrival of the special strike force, together with operatives of the Kaduna State Police Command would bring activities of kidnappers and other criminal elements to an end.

He appealed to members of the public to cooperate with men of the strike force and the command by providing useful information that would enable them track down the criminals that have been terrorising the state.

Meanwhile, the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 7, Alkali Usman, also joined the DIG in warning the officers and men of the squad not to exhibit acts capable of truncating the operation.

He also assured them that their welfare would be adequately taking care of.

Kaduna has recently gained notoriety as a hotbed for the kidnapping, with past victims including diplomats, judges, government officials and political figures.

For a smooth operation, operational patrol vans with communication gadgets have been procured for the troops.

As they move into their various units to commence operation, it is hoped that they will bring the activities of armed bandits to an end.

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.

Mali Attack: Special Forces Storm Hotel, 30 Hostages Freed

mali attackSpecial forces have entered the Radisson Blu Hotel in Mali’s capital, Bamako, to end the siege by gunmen who had been holding 170 people hostage.

The gunmen stormed the US-owned hotel, which is popular with foreign businesses and airline crews, shooting and shouting “God is great!” in Arabic.

Mali’s Interior Minister, Salif Traore, said 30 hostages had been freed so far.

Three people had been shot dead and two soldiers were wounded, but their lives were not in danger, he said.

Among the rescued people are: 12 crew members of Air France and five from Turkish Airlines.

Report says Chinese citizens and indians were among those trapped inside the building.

The United Nations (UN) peacekeeping force said it was supporting the operation, as Malian special forces freed hostages “floor by floor”.

The Radisson Blu Hotel attack is coming a week after Islamic State (IS) militants killed 129 people in Paris.

Special Forces Kill 40 Terrorists, Destroy Fabricated Rockets 

ForcesSpecial Forces of the Nigerian Army, supported by Nigeria Air Force aircraft, say that they have killed about 40 Boko Haram terrorists and destroyed their rocket fabrication factory.

This was after carrying out several raids and attacks on Boko Haram camps, rocket making factory and foiling attempts to attack troops’ location.

Army Headquarters, in a statement detailing the operations which occurred at the north east epicentre, said that as part of series of successes being recorded by the Nigerian Army in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorists, advancing troops of 154 Task Force Battalion of 29 Task Force Brigade, on Wednesday cleared Boko Haram terrorists camp at Matali, Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State.

According to the statement, during the operation, quite a number of terrorists were killed and some weapons and improvised explosive making devices, IEDs were recovered.

Zamfara Attacks: IGP Orders Massive Deployment Of Special Forces

IGP AbubakarThe Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, has ordered the immediate massive deployment of special forces which comprises ten units of police mobile force, three units of conventional policemen, a unit of counter-terrorism personnel, border patrol teams and force intelligence personnel drawn from various squadrons and commands to reinforce the operation of the existing force in Zamfara State.

This is part of efforts aimed at tackling the recurrent attacks on some Zamfara communities.

A statement signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said that the air wing of the Nigeria Police would also commence aerial patrol and surveillance in order to efficiently and effectively monitor the situation.

While commiserating with the families of the victims of the attacks, the IGP urged citizens to cooperate with the Force in its effort at restoring peace and security in the area and advised them to be law-abiding, as they go about their lawful businesses.

The IGP had earlier set up a reconciliatory committee headed by DIG Michael Zuokumor, with a mandate to reach out to communities and stakeholders in the states witnessing attacks in order to permanently entrench peace.

Emergency Rule: Presidency Says Al-Jazeera’s Report On Civilian Casualties Is Misleading

The Presidency has re-affirmed that the Emergency rule currently imposed on Adamawa, Yobe and Borno states is meant to protect the civilian and the territory from the assault b on the Nigerian state by insurgents and terrorists.

This re-affirmation comes on the heels of a special report by Aljazeera (see the report here) which indicates that large numbers of civilians have been caught in the cross-fire between military forces and insurgents but reacting to the widely televised report in a statement, President Goodluck Jonathan’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati stated that the report on state of emergency and “civilian casualties” is contrived and misleading.

The statement reads:

We view with grave concern, the attempt by sections of the media, especially the foreign media to mislead the general public and the international community about the on-going State of Emergency and military operations in three states of the Federation: Adamawa, Yobe and Borno. For the avoidance of doubt, the declaration of a state of emergency and the consequential security operations are meant to protect the civilian population and the territory from the macabre and dastardly assault on the Nigerian state by insurgents and terrorists. It is not an operation against innocent citizens as Al-Jazeera and others are suggesting.

In executing this sovereign objective, President Jonathan explicitly directed that the operations be conducted in line with applicable rules of engagement and peculiar care in managing a unique situation. In an earlier statement, he had also made it clear to the military high command and received assurances that those who violate their operational orders will be disciplined accordingly. In line with this regard for the rights of the civilian population, the President Jonathan had ordered the release of women and under-aged persons in protective custody, and made arrangements for their immediate rehabilitation. Fifty eight persons in this category have been released.

The Armed Forces have also secured the release of six women and children in Boko Haram captivity. There is nothing to suggest so far any violation of operational orders by the troops operating in the North East. Their intervention has received popular support, among the civilian populace, and within two weeks of operation, the possibility of calm and normalcy resonates even as enclaves of terrorists are raided and their capacity to continue their reign of terror heavily compromised. This is a process and the Government owes it to the people of the North-East to see it through.

The Jonathan administration believes that media reporting of the reality of living in a state of emergency is needed to keep the local and international community well informed and to hold accountable those prosecuting the military operation to help build trust and sustain the public support needed to build lasting peace.

Rather curiously however, the last two weeks have witnessed mischievous attempts by a section of the media to generate negative propaganda around these operations in the North East. Most recently, a video report by Al-Jazeera yesterday titled “Civilians among dead in Nigeria offensive” (May 31) sought to put the government and the people of Nigeria in bad light. This is regrettable. While we welcome an open interrogation of government’s activities, we reject any attempt to exploit the security situation in the North East to malign, discredit or otherwise undermine the country’s efforts by other surreptitious means. There can be no doubt that the Al Jazeera report of May 31 is in very bad taste.

Two quick points will highlight the concerns here: (1) the video is that of the unfortunate incident that occurred in Bama on May 7 and has no connection with the current operation. If anything, the victims shown in the video were those the Boko Haram attacked before they launched an offensive on the Bama prison (2) the claim that the man in uniform shown in the video is a Nigerian soldier cannot be sustained, because in a war-like theater as we have on our hands, anybody could have been clad in a military fatigue; and we have seen Boko Haram members appear in military fatigues in their propaganda videos. Besides, no soldier has left the frontlines since the beginning of the operations. Surely, this type of reporting on a serious national security issue is irresponsible and should be deplored by all.

We reaffirm the Government of Nigeria’s commitment to and belief in the professionalism of the Nigerian Military, an institution that has served with distinction on many occasions across the region and outside. We deplore the effort to encourage terrorists through unverified and inaccurate reporting, and the desperation to blackmail the current peace and security process.