Insurgency: Military Needs Intelligence, Not Weapons – Prof Alemikha

Professor Etannibi Alemikha has disagreed with the governors of the North-East over the deployment of more heavy artillery to the region.

Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Monday, Alemikha said the Nigerian military needs more intelligence.

The criminologist explained that for the war against insurgency to be won in the region, security operatives need to have information beforehand on the activities of the Boko Haram terrorists.

“From the military or security point of view, what is required is actually not weapons. It is intelligence. At that point, they need to know when insurgents are planning to attack, where they are supposed to be attacking and what is the capacity or force that will be deployed there,” he said.

According to him, the war against terrorism and issues bordering on security globally are technologically driven.

READ ALSO: Banditry/Terrorism: Northeast Governors Advocate Use Of Heavy Artillery By Police

While insisting that the troubled northeast region lacks the intelligence-approach in prosecuting terrorism war, the criminologist said the military personnel has been provided with the required weapons.

North-East Governors during a security meeting at the Government House in Maiduguri on August 9, 2020 called for the deployment of heavy artillery to the region in the war against insurgency.

 

He explained that even if more weapons are provided for them, the intelligence-capacity is far more important.

A criminologist, Professor Etannibi Alemikha, during an appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on August 10, 2020 said for the war against insurgency to be won, the military should deploy more of intelligence and not weapons.

 

“It is not so much the weapons that are required that is more important than the intelligence. I would have expected that they will ask indeed that there is the need for the deployment or greater capacity of intelligence-gathering through the various media.

“You could have the highest weapons; you will still be taken unawares. I think what is largely missing in the northeast situation has been intelligence.

“Why are they always caught unawares? I think that should be the response rather than the weapons they carry,” he said.

Professor Alemikha’s remarks come 24 hours after the Chairman of the North-East Governors’ Forum, Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State asked the Federal Government to provide the region with more weapons to tackle terrorism decisively.

The governor who made this call during a meeting at the Borno Government House in Maiduguri on Saturday, advocated the use of heavy artillery for the Nigerian police to bridge the manpower deficit in the Armed Forces.

Army Remains Committed To Winning Insurgency War – Buratai

 

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai speaks at the newly established Special Army Super Camp IV in Faskari, Katsina State on July 11, 2020.

 

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai has reiterated the commitment of the Nigerian Army in winning the insurgency war in the northeastern part of the country.

Buratai made the announcement during the 157th anniversary of the Nigerian Army at the newly established Special Army Super Camp IV in Faskari, Katsina State.

Buratai noted that the country had witnessed difficult and escalating security challenges with Boko Haram insurgency being at its peak upon assuming office in 2015.

“The Nigerian Army has been at the forefront of combatting these threats of insecurity to our dear nation. From 2015 when I assumed office, my immediate priority centred on modernising the Nigerian Army by addressing the major challenges and fundamental areas

“The measures put in place in the last five years have no doubt contributed immensely towards enhancing the efficiency of the Nigerian Army resulting in improved security across the country,” Buratai said.

READ ALSO: Declare Herdsmen As Terrorists, Ortom Tells Buhari

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has renewed its support to help the military overcome several myriads of challenges in parts of the country.

The Defence Minister, Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari thanked members of the Armed Forces and other law enforcement agencies for their efforts over the years.

Nigeria Fully Capable Of Dealing With Banditry, Terrorism – Presidency

'It's Jealousy': Garba Shehu Faults PDP's Comments On Niger Governors’ Visit
A file photo of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu.

 

The Presidency has assured Nigerians, again, that the nation’s armed forces are fully capable of dealing with the challenges of banditry and terrorism, urging more patience as the military takes appropriate steps to block gaps being exploited to unleash mayhem on innocent citizens.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who has approved a joint military and police operation specifically targeted at combing Niger, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto States to rid the areas of bandits, assures that surveillance will be improved, with more night vision aircraft already deployed under “Operation Accord’’.

According to a statement by Garba Shehu the President’s Senior Special Assistant, the operation was launched three weeks ago.

READ ALSO: Share Knowledge From Research, Science To Fight Coronavirus – Buhari

“Nigeria’s military has displayed its capabilities in the past and will show it again by dealing with the current challenges,” the President says.

President Buhari appealed to the people of Katsina State to be patient and supportive of the ongoing military operations in the state while sympathizing with those who are bereaved, injured, and lost properties.

President Buhari admonishes that taking to the streets for protest could distract the military operations, urging “Katsina indigenes not to give up on the military who over the years have a strong track record of quelling crises once given enough time.

“The major forests in North-Western Nigeria have been identified as home to the bandits in the region. The operation will clear all these forests,’’ he further said.

Nigeria Fully Capable Of Dealing With Banditry, Terrorism – Presidency

 

The presidency has assured Nigerians that the nation’s armed forces are fully capable of dealing with the challenges of banditry and terrorism.

They, therefore, urged Nigerians to exercise more patience as the military takes appropriate steps to block gaps being exploited to unleash mayhem on innocent citizens.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu on Tuesday.

According to the statement, President Muhammadu Buhari, who has approved a joint military and police operation specifically targeted at combing Niger, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto states to rid the areas of bandits, assures that surveillance will be improved, with more night vision aircraft already deployed under “Operation Accord’’.

The operation is said to have been launched three weeks ago.

“Nigeria’s military has displayed its capabilities in the past and will show it again by dealing with the current challenges,” the President was quoted to have said.

He also sympathized with residents of Katsina State who may have been bereaved, injured or lost properties.

Meanwhile, the president warned that taking to the streets for protest could distract the military operations. He, therefore, urged “Katsina indigenes not to give up on the military who over the years have a strong track record of quelling crises once given enough time.

“The major forests in North-Western Nigeria have been identified as home to the bandits in the region. The operation will clear all these forests,’’ he said.

Acts Of Terrorism, Violence In Northern Nigeria Are Intolerable – EU

A photo combination of an EU flag and a community deserted by residents after an attack by bandits in Katsina State.

 

 

The European Union has condemned the latest attacks on communities and villages in the northern part of the country.

In a joint statement on Tuesday by the High Representative/ Vice-President, Josep Borrell, and Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic, it noted that the situation has worsened recently.

According to the statement, attacks, abductions, and killings of civilians by armed groups in northern Nigeria have led to the death of over 160 people, including 130 civilians since 28 May.

[READ ALSO] Borno, Katsina Killings: Criminals Taking Advantage Of COVID-19 Restrictions – Buhari

“Such heinous acts of terrorism and violence are intolerable.

“These attacks pose a serious threat to Nigeria’s security and to that of the wider region, including in the increasingly restive North-west of the country,” the statement said.

It added, “The ongoing conflict, growing food insecurity and COVID-19 pandemic significantly increase humanitarian needs in north-east Nigeria.”

The EU stressed that international humanitarian law must be safeguarded and respected by all parties to the conflict in Nigeria and elsewhere.

It warned that civilian and humanitarian personnel should not be targets of kidnappers, bandits, and terrorists among other criminals.

The EU also urged the Nigerian government, the states, and all parties involved to facilitate the unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief for the victims of such attacks.

“The EU stands by Nigeria and its people in this period of increased violence and instability,” the statement said.

The reaction from the EU followed the series of attacks that have claimed several lives in Borno and Katsina, and some other states in the North.

These have sparked outrage in the country, along with heated debates over the effort of the Muhammadu Buhari administration in tackling the nation’s security challenges.

In his reaction, President Buhari blamed the killings in Borno and Katsina on the restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the states.

Boko Haram Top Commanders Killed, Equipment Destroyed– DHQ

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

 

Troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole have killed top Boko Haram terrorists in a military operation in the northeast.

The Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, confirmed this in a statement obtained by Channels Television on Wednesday.

According to him, the death of the insurgents followed a failed “attack on troops’ location at Banki Junction and Response Area Firgi within the 7 Division Strike Group.”

READ ALSO: Alleged Rape: Jigawa Govt Vows To Prosecute 11 Suspects

Enenche noted that the terrorists who met their waterloo were some high ranking Commanders of the Abubakar Shekau’s faction of the Boko Haram terrorist’s group.

“Consequently, troops of Operation LAFYA DOLE carried out a counter-attack against the terrorists on the 26th of May 2020. After the attack, human intelligence confirmed the death of some high ranking Commanders of the Abubakar Shekau’s faction of the Boko Haram terrorist’ group.

“The BHT/ISWAP Commanders that were killed include Manzar Halid, Amir Abu Fatima and Nicap among others.

“Additionally, Seventy-two (72) members of the sect were also neutralised. Others wounded with narrow chances of survival include some high profile Commanders and fighters namely: Abu Jamratu AL-Naweer, Kaka Bana and Tareta Babakari,” the statement partly read.

Similarly, a large number of their equipment including gun trucks, motorcycles and bicycles were destroyed by troops in collaboration with the Air Task Force.

Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai has commended “the gallant troops for their resilience, courage and dedication to ending the North East security challenge.”

He, however, encouraged all troops of Operation Lafiya Dole to sustain the onslaught against the terrorists.

US To Indict Maduro For ‘Narco-Terrorism’

Maduro Accuses US Of Financing Mercenary 'Plot' Against Him
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro delivers a speech during a pro-government demonstration in Caracas on March 23, 2019. Juan BARRETO / AFP

 

The US Justice Department is planning to indict Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for “narco-terrorism,” US Senator Marco Rubio said on Thursday.

The Florida senator confirmed in a brief tweet US media reports that the department will unveil charges accusing the Venezuelan leader and other senior members of his government of conspiring with drug cartels.

AFP

Terrorism: AU Plans Deployment Of 3,000 Troops To Niger, Others

 

The African Union on Thursday that it expected to send a temporary deployment of 3,000 troops to West Africa’s Sahel region, where regional forces are struggling to respond to a nearly eight-year-old insurgency by armed Islamists. 

The decision was made at the African Union summit earlier this month, Smail Chergui, head of the AU’s Peace and Security Commission said, but the announcement was not made until a press conference Thursday.

“On the decision of the summit to work on deploying a force of 3,000 troops to help the Sahel countries degrade terrorist groups, I think this is a decision that we’ll be working on together with the G5 Sahel and ECOWAS,” Chergui said.

“I think this decision has been taken because as we see, as you can recognise yourself, the threat is expanding, it’s becoming more complex,” Chergui added.

G5 Sahel is a 5,000-member joint force already on the ground in the Sahel, and ECOWAS is the West African regional bloc.

A localised revolt that began in northern Mali in 2012 has spread to the centre of the country and to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.

Around 4,000 people died in the three countries last year, a fivefold increase over 2016, according to UN figures.

 ‘Humanitarian crisis’ 

The bloodshed has escalated despite the presence of a 13,000-strong UN peacekeeping force in Mali and rattled coastal countries to the south of the Sahel.

Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kabore said this week that the Sahel faced an “unprecedented humanitarian crisis”.

Final decisions from the AU summit have yet to be published, but diplomats have confirmed details of the proposed Sahel deployment.

“The summit decided to deploy about 3,000 troops for a period of six months to work with the countries of the Sahel to deal with the menace that they are facing,” Edward Xolisa Makaya, South Africa’s ambassador to the AU, told AFP.

“It’s just a sign or a show of solidarity with the people of the Sahel.”

South Africa took over as AU chair at the summit and plans and to host an extraordinary AU summit on security issues in May.

Makaya said he hoped the Sahel deployment would take place “during the course of the year”.

 ‘Not the right answer?’ 

But many details of the possible deployment have yet to be worked out.

Makaya said no countries had come forward to volunteer troops, and it was also unclear how the deployment would be financed.

“Of course the member states have been called upon to make offers and contributions, and they did, some member states did make offers during the discussions,” he said. “But we are not at liberty to mention their names now.”

Elissa Jobson, director of regional advocacy for the International Crisis Group think tank, was sceptical as to how effective an AU deployment would be.

“While it’s good to see that African Union leaders are showing real concern about the conflict in the Sahel and are moved to do something about it, the deployment of troops isn’t necessarily the right answer,” Jobson said.

The deployment would “have to be part of a well thought through political strategy that should also include dialogue with the jihadist groups in the region,” she added.

Thursday’s press conference took place as part of a meeting of AU and European leaders.

EU foreign minister Josep Borrell said at the press conference that an AU deployment to the Sahel would be “very much welcome”.

“I think we have enough logistical coordination capacity in order to manage all together,” he said.

AFP

Court Sentences Islamic Cleric To Prison Over Terrorism

 

An Israeli court Monday sentenced a firebrand Islamic cleric to 28 months in prison for incitement to terrorism in connection with deadly unrest at a Jerusalem holy site in 2017.

Raed Salah had been convicted by Haifa magistrates’ court of “incitement to terror” for “praising, sympathising or encouraging terrorism” in remarks made after attackers killed two policemen on the Haram al-Sharif mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount.

The deadly July 14, 2017 attack, at the Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem site, was carried out by perpetrators from his hometown of Umm al-Fahm.

His group, the radical northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, was outlawed in 2015 for incitement linked to the Jerusalem holy site.

Salah was also found guilty of “supporting an illegal organisation” in Facebook posts from 2015 and 2016, in which he called his supporters to commit “acts of violence or terrorism” while speaking in favour of his movement.

The Haifa court on Monday also noted that 61-year-old Salah made the criminal remarks on three separate occasions following the Jerusalem shooting.

The prosecution was quoted in the ruling as saying that Salah’s deeds “harmed the security of the state and its citizens,” and considering the preacher’s prominence, “have high potential to cause damage”.

Salah, an Arab Israeli, can appeal the sentence within 45 days, the court said.

His arrest in August 2017 followed his release from prison the previous January after serving a nine-month sentence on similar charges.

AFP

ECOWAS Mobilising Own Resources To Combat Terrorism, Says Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari says ECOWAS member countries are mobilizing their own resources to combat the scourge of terrorism.

He said this on Saturday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at a High-Level meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council on the State of Peace and Security in Africa during the 33rd AU Summit.

While commending the move he called for new strategies by the Union to effectively prevent, manage and resolve conflicts in the face of new challenges.

Speaking further, the president said Nigeria is proud to continue to serve as a strong contributor to the peace roles played by the regional bloc.

”In Burkina Faso, we (ECOWAS) pledged to mobilize one billion US dollars to address the challenges of insecurity in our region and the Sahel. In Guinea Bissau, ECOWAS successfully midwifed the general elections.

”Nigeria along with ECOWAS member states led in the restoration of democracy and peace in the Gambia,” he said, while welcoming the collaborative leadership of the AU with other Regional Economic Communities in resolving conflicts on the continent.

”Nigeria condemns, in the strongest terms, the perpetrators of terrorism in Libya, the Sahel, Lake Chad Basin, and parts of the Horn of Africa.

”We reiterate that efforts must continue to be pooled to mitigate this dreadful violence and secure the future of our continent,” he said.

On new strategies to resolve conflicts on the continent, the President said: ”The AU must strengthen its own capacity for mediation and develop an effective intervention roadmap.”

He added that more emphasis should be placed on promoting national dialogue, reconciliation and social cohesion in order to rally all actors towards sustainable peace.

Meanwhile, the president announced that Nigeria has fulfilled its financial obligations to the AU Peace Fund up to 2019, pledging to continue investing in peace and security on the continent.

He reminded the meeting that drawing from the Kigali and Johannesburg Assembly Decisions, the fund is structured for the internal peace support arrangements within the continent and not as resources to subsidise the mandate of the UN Security Council.

”In this regard, my delegation will always fervently contest attempts to make Africa subsidize the primary responsibility of the UN as clearly provided in it Charter,” he said.

President Buhari also welcomed the decision of the AU Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) to adopt the regional stabilisation strategy for the Lake Chad Basin and the renewal of mandates of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) and the G5 Sahel Joint Force.

He told the meeting that Nigeria was very encouraged by the resolution of the continent’s standing decision-making body for conflict prevention, management and resolution, on the Lake Chad Basin.

“We are hopeful that the Inter Water Basin Transfer Initiative for the recharging of the Lake Chad will address some of the drivers of terrorism, particularly the impact of climate change and inter-communal clashes over access to natural resources.

“We equally call on the Assembly to direct the full implementation of these AU-inspired initiatives,” he said.

Police Shoot Man Linked With London Stabbing

A file photo of police officers in London on October 19, 2019. Tolga AKMEN / AFP

 

British police on Sunday said they had shot a man in Streatham in south London after several people were stabbed in a suspected “terrorist-related” incident. 

“A man has been shot by armed officers in #Streatham,” London’s Metropolitan Police said on Twitter.

“At this stage, it is believed a number of people have been stabbed.

“The circumstances are being assessed; the incident has been declared as terrorist-related.”

It was not immediately clear what condition the man and those stabbed were in.

London’s Ambulance Service said it had “a number of resources” attending the incident on Streatham High Road in the largely residential neighbourhood.

Unverified footage posted to social media purporting to capture some of the incident showed armed police officers surrounding a man lying on the ground on Streatham High Road.

They then abruptly moved away, urging onlookers to move back, as other emergency vehicles arrived at the scene.

Britain has seen a spate of terrorist attacks in recent years.

In the most recent incident on November 29, 2019, convicted terrorist Usman Khan killed two people before being shot dead by police on London Bridge.

AFP

Buhari Calls For End To ‘Tit-For-Tat Violence’ In Plateau

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the fresh attack on Kwatas village in Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State which resulted in the death of 13 persons.

He also sent condolences to families of the victims, government, and people of the state and urged security agencies on assignment in the state to rediscover their act and “stop the return of the ugly days of tit-for-tat.”

READ ALSO: 13 Killed In Fresh Plateau Attack

This was disclosed in a statement signed on Monday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

President Buhari said further that “revenge, hatred and violent attacks should have no place in a multi-ethnic, multicultural and multi-religious society as we have in Nigeria.

“In Plateau State, gunmen launched yet another bloody attack, killing innocent citizens. This shocking and sad incident should be condemned by all citizens.”

Buhari also called on community and religious leaders to counsel the youths on the need for peaceful co-existence and assured that terrorism, banditry, kidnapping and associated crimes will be defeated.