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Islamic Jihadists Have Recruited Heavily From Fulani Herdsmen Across West Africa —UN Report |RN

West Africa map


•The crisis may engulf coastal West Africa —Burkina Faso’s Foreign Minister warns

•10 million people in Lake Chad area need urgent help —UN

There are fears that the current security problems wracking the country, Nigeria could become worsened soon with reports that jihadists across the West African region are recruiting heavily from aggrieved Fulani pastoralists.

While the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), fears a hike in the population of the displaced in West Africa, other reports warned that militant groups in the Sahel are on their way down to West African coastal countries.

Sahel countries are Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Southern Algeria, Niger, North of Nigeria, Central Chad, Central and Southern Sudan, the extreme north of South Sudan, Eritrea, Cameroon, Central African Republic and the extreme north of Ethiopia.

The coastal countries of the West African region under these threats are Nigeria, Cape Verde, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Benin, Guinea Bissau, Ghana, The Gambia, Cote d’Ivoire, Sao Tome and Principe and Mauritania.

The New Humanitarian news agency (formerly IRIN) a few days ago released a detailed report on the security crisis which may threaten the coastal West Africa with invasion by the militias.

According to the news agency, jihadist groups have recruited heavily from Fulani pastoralists, which it described as “an ethnic group that suffers from social exclusion as well as government and development programmes that favour agriculturalists.” The report added that this has raised tensions with members of other ethnic groups who say they are targeted by the jihadists.

“In the absence of the state, some have turned to self-defence militias, who have indiscriminately attacked Fulani communities,” it said.

“Failure to contain the insurgencies,” it said, “could also result in further regional destabilisation, with militant groups now moving southwards from Burkina Faso towards Ghana, Togo, Ivory Coast, and Benin, where two French tourists were recently kidnapped,” the report said.

“It’s no longer just the Sahel, it’s coastal West Africa and the risk of spreading regionally,” Burkina Faso Foreign Minister, Alpha Barry, told a security conference in Munich in February.

10 million people in Lake Chad area need urgent help —UN

The OCHA has also disclosed that nearly 10 million people, or half the population of the conflict-hit Lake Chad Basin region need humanitarian assistance as the decade-long conflict drags on.

In a report released during the week, OCHA said some 2.5 million people are now displaced. “Hunger and malnutrition remain high. Abduction, killings and rights violations are also widespread. Humanitarian response has been accelerated over the past three years, with many more affected people receiving assistance.”

It added that “this year, the humanitarian community is seeking US$1.3 billion to provide food, water, shelter, healthcare and safeguard the rights and dignity of the conflict-affected.

“The region is facing a severe protection crisis. The armed violence that has affected large parts of the Lake Chad Basin is stretching to its tenth year. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have lived in displacement sites and refugee camps for years, grappling with extreme hardship and deprivation. Many civilians have suffered abuse and rights violations and are deeply traumatised by the violence.

“It is critical to strengthen the protection of civilians, especially women and girls, and work towards preventing sexual and gender-based violence as well as enhance support to survivors. Women and girls face high risks of sexual and gender-based violence, sexual exploitation and abuse primarily by armed groups, but also by men in uniform.

“Thousands of civilians have also been killed or abducted and many families separated.

“The recurrent attacks and insecurity as well as security measures have restricted free movement. “Farming, trade, transhumance and other activities have been significantly affected, depriving millions of people of their means of survival and limiting access to basic services. Displaced people are also unable to move freely in and out of camps.

“In January 2019, the Governments of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria reaffirmed their commitment to the Abuja Action Statement on civilian protection in the Lake Chad Basin region. The agreement comprises a range of actions to enhance protection and respond to the most urgent needs of refugees, internally displaced persons and other affected populations.”

Humanitarian needs still high

The OCHA added that: “Humanitarian needs remain high. The persistent violence and its impact on the lives of millions of people across the Lake Chad Basin mean that many families and communities still require help to survive.

“Humanitarian assistance has been significantly stepped up over the past three years, with millions more people receiving aid. Relief assistance needs to be sustained and international support increased to provide adequately to those in need. The prevalent insecurity and inadequate funding are some of the main hurdles to effective relief assistance.

“To sustain relief operations, the protection of aid workers and humanitarian assets is paramount. While providing life-saving assistance, aid workers have unfortunately come under attack. In 2018, six aid workers were killed in Nigeria and one is still held captive.

“The prevailing insecurity has forced the suspension of operations and withdrawal of humanitarian workers in some locations, leaving affected communities without access to basic services and assistance.

“As insecurity and recurrent armed attacks prevent the return of millions of displaced people to their homes, efforts towards lasting solutions are necessary to increase access to basic services and livelihoods. The protracted crisis calls for an early shift towards self-sufficiency. The displaced need not wait for the conflict to be fully resolved to start rebuilding their lives.

“In addition, steps towards increased collaboration between humanitarian and development strategies need to be sustained and strengthened.

“Greater economic and infrastructure investment are required to complement humanitarian action and decrease dependence on relief aid,” it said.

The report by The Humanitarian (formerly IRIN) reads in part

What is causing ethnic conflict?

Jihadist groups have recruited heavily from Fulani pastoralists, “an ethnic group that suffers from social exclusion as well as government and development programmes that favour agriculturalists.” This has raised tensions with members of other ethnic groups who say they are targeted by the jihadists.

In the absence of the state, some have turned to self-defence militias, who have indiscriminately attacked Fulani communities,

In January, attacks against Fulani villagers in northern Burkina Faso left more than 200 dead, according to local civil society groups. In March, some 160 Fulani men, women, and children were killed in a single attack by an ethnic Dogon militia in central Mali. The violence is now being widely described as “ethnic cleansing”.

Why is violence rising?

The violence has its roots in the activities of a number of local but globally oriented jihadist groups that have spent the past few years laying the groundwork for armed insurgencies and are now wreaking havoc across the Sahel – a semi-arid belt of land on the southern edge of the Sahara.

In 2012, the militants were largely contained to northern Mali, where they had joined forces with separatist Tuareg rebels to take over a number of strategic towns, including the fabled city of Timbuktu.

A French intervention in January 2013 dislodged them, but they regrouped and insurgencies have since spread into central Mali, northern, eastern and southwestern Burkina Faso and the Tahoua and Tillaberi regions of southwestern Niger.

“It is unprecedented,” the top UN official in Burkina Faso, Metsi Makhetha, told TNH recently. “The country has never had to deal with such massive displacement.”

The militancy’s rapid progress has been aided by the region’s vast desert areas and porous borders, a flow of firearms from nearby Libya, and weak – and often predatory – states that struggle to provide even basic social services: Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger all rank among the 10 least developed countries in the world, according to the UN’s Human Development Index.

“People think the jihadists can offer them a better life than the state,” Mahamadou Savadogo, a Burkinabe researcher, told TNH.

In recent times their tactics have shifted from targeted assassinations of government officials, soldiers, and local leaders that oppose their vision of Islam, to indiscriminate attacks against civilians and entire villages.

The response from security forces has, by and large, made matters worse. Last year Malian troops were implicated in mass killings in the central Mopti region, while in northern Burkina Faso TNH has documented recent atrocities by military personnel, who are now killing three times as many civilians than jihadists. Affected communities describe being trapped between the state and jihadists. Both sides accuse them of collaborating with the other.

France’s counter-insurgency force in the Sahel – Operation Barkhane – has been accused of stoking communal tensions by backing two Mali-based militias, the MSA and GATIA, which have targeted Fulani herders during anti-jihadist operations in both Niger and Mali.

A string of recent attacks on churches by militants in Burkina Faso could also now test relations between the country’s majority Muslim and minority Christian religious groups.

What are the humanitarian needs?

Internal displacement has increased five-fold in the past year according to the UN, with 330,000 people uprooted and a further 100,000 people fleeing across borders.

In Mali, the number of people forced to flee tripled in 2018 and continues to rise, with 133,000 newly displaced since the beginning of the year, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council.

In Burkina Faso, 170,000 people have been uprooted, with more than 100,000 fleeing so far this year. In Niger’s Tillaberi and Tahoua regions, violence has forced more than 70,000 people from their homes.

Levels of food insecurity and malnutrition were already chronically high following a severe drought in the Sahel last year. The current violence is now “compounding” these issues, “threatening civilians’ lives and livelihoods”, said Gasarabwe, the UN official. Some 5.1 million people require humanitarian assistance across the region but aid groups say the needs are far exceeding available resources.

The crisis in numbers

Civilian fatalities rose 7,000 percent in Burkina Faso, 500 percent in Niger, and 300 percent in Mali compared to the previous year
440,000 people displaced by conflict, a five-fold increase over the previous year, a five-fold increase over the previous year
1.8 million people face food insecurity
5.1 million people require humanitarian assistance
157 men, women, and children killed in March in one attack in Mali

How much worse could it get?

Conflicts are likely to escalate further through the year as militants expand their reach, ethnic militias proliferate, and communal divisions harden.

So far this month, 20 people have died after militants attacked four churches and a religious procession in northern Burkina Faso; at least 18 civilians have been killed by ethnic militias in central Mali; and jihadists killed 28 soldiers in western Niger – one of the deadliest attacks recorded in that area to date.

Projections on future population displacement are hard to come by, but Daouda Djouma, an official at the UN’s emergency aid coordination body, OCHA, has said more than 380,000 people could be uprooted in Burkina Faso alone by December.

How is the international community responding?

Efforts to stem the violence aren’t working. The UN has around 13,000 peacekeepers deployed in Mali, but attacks by jihadists mean the mission is now “more a target than an anchor of stability”, according to a recent assessment from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs.

The French have 4,000 troops in the region as part of Operation Barkhane; the US is building a $110 million drone base in Agadez, Niger; and five Sahelian states – Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger – have united under the G5 Sahel joint force.

But analysts and aid groups say focusing on military solutions risks overlooking the social and political grievances enabling militants to take root within local communities. A recent study by the peacebuilding charity International Alert attributes the rise in violent extremism in the Sahel to weak states rather than religious ideology.

Which jihadist groups are involved?

The largest coalition of jihadist groups is known as Jama’at Nusrat ul-Islam wal-Muslimeen, or JNIM. It brings together al-Qaeda’s Sahara franchise, AQIM, with a number of other militant groups. The coalition was formed in March 2017 and operates in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger.

A franchise of so-called Islamic State, known as Islamic State in the Greater Sahara or ISGS, has been active since 2015 and is also gaining ground despite recent pressure from French forces.

In his first video message in five years, the Islamic State leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, paid special tribute to ISGS fighters in Burkina Faso and Mali: “We congratulate them for their joining the convoy of the caliphate,” he said.

An assortment of homegrown militant groups – including Ansaroul Islam in northern Burkina Faso and Katiba Macina in central Mali – completes the picture. Their success is largely predicated on understanding the local grievances of different communities, in particular the Fulani.

A surge in violence across West Africa’s Sahel has displaced hundreds of thousands of people and left thousands dead since January, as Islamist militants with links to al-Qaeda and so-called Islamic State extend their reach across the region at a time when they are losing ground in their Middle Eastern strongholds.

For the past 10 months, The New Humanitarian has been one of the few news organisations reporting consistently from the front lines on the civilian impact of the rapid rise in violence by the militants, who are based primarily in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger – three countries with shared borders and problems.

Five takeaways on the growing violence and its civilian toll
Jihadist groups are manipulating inter-communal conflicts. They are exploiting the region’s ethnic fault lines to stir violence that can be far deadlier than anything the militants are doing directly themselves. In central Mali, the level of violence may now qualify as ethnic cleansing.
Governments have helped local militias thrive. Central governments have allowed and in some cases encouraged the proliferation of communal militia groups – decisions that are now coming home to roost as intercommunal conflicts rise.
Civilians look to jihadists for support the state doesn’t provide. Jihadist groups often understand the social grievances of local communities. A recent study by the peacebuilding charity International Alert attributes the rise in violent extremism in the Sahel to weak states rather than religious ideology.
Civilians are becoming casualties of security forces. These forces add to the insecurity by killing civilians during counter-terrorism operations. In Burkina Faso, military forces are killing three times more civilians than jihadists.
Displacement, food insecurity, and other humanitarian crises are escalating, but resources to respond are lacking. Some 5.1 million people require humanitarian assistance, and the new violence is “compounding” already existing needs and “threatening civilians’ lives and livelihoods”, a UN official said.

According to data from ACLED – a group that monitors and maps conflicts – civilian fatalities between November 2018 and March this year rose by an “alarming” 7,000 percent in Burkina Faso, 500 percent in Niger, and 300 percent in Mali, when compared to the same period the year before.

In early May, senior UN officials from all three countries warned that insecurity had “reached unprecedented levels”.

The situation has surprised many analysts and UN and government officials and is pushing an area already prone to droughts and floods to its limit, with 440,000 people forced from their homes by conflict in the past year alone.

Hundreds of thousands of people are now without access to education and healthcare as staff flee their posts; 1.8 million people are facing critical food insecurity.

“Many people affected by the violence were already facing serious difficulties,” said Mbaranga Gasarabwe, the UN resident coordinator in Mali. “For them it is a double disaster.”

The militants’ increased presence has sparked a violent backlash by the region’s overstretched security forces and fuelled a growing number of explosive inter-communal conflicts among ethnic groups accused of either supporting or opposing the jihadists. (Nigerian Tribune)

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Islamisation/Fulani-sation: ACF Warns Obasanjo Against Appending Ethno-religious Name To Criminality

Former President, Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo
Jude Johnson 

The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has cautioned former President Olusegun Obasanjo against giving criminal activities ethnic and religious colouration.This point was made on Sunday by the Secretary General of ACF, Anthony Sani, during a chat with THISDAY in Kaduna, Kaduna Sani  was reacting to assertion by Obasanjo, that herdsmen were  plotting to ”Fulanise and Islamise” the country. Obasanjo had in a paper he presented on Saturday at  the 2nd session of the 7th  Synod of the Anglican Communion, Oleh Diocese, in the Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State, was reported to have said the Boko Haram insurgents and herdsmen were plotting to ”Fulanise” and Islamise the country.

It maintained that giving ethnic and religious colouration to crime, will only embolden the criminals to continue with their evil deeds.

Sani said “former President Obasanjo may have his facts, for making such comments, saying that  ”for me, I do not want us to give ethnic and religious coloration to the criminal activities of some people, lest we provide them with platforms upon which to stand and commit crimes, knowing it is almost impossible to prosecute religion and ethnicity“.

According to him, there are moderate Muslims who are the majority and are opposed to religious fanatics, stressing that “such moderate Muslims need to be  enlisted  such in the campaign against Islamic terrorists whose aims are not for piety but political, albeit  attired in the garb of religious jihadists.”

Sani said ”if we offend the sensitivity of such moderate Muslims and push them to the side of the fanatics,we would be playing to the gallery by swallowing the bait put by the fanatics and  that is what they want.

“That explains why President Obama won the Nobel Prize for a speech he made to Arabs in Egypt where he made clear distinction between Islam and terrorism cast in the mould of Islamisation.

“Also, it is that distinction that enabled a coalition of 66 countries of all faiths, led by America that has defeated IS in Syria and Iraq.

”I therefore submit that the nation should have common narrative that emphasizes the trite that Islamic terrorists are not furthering Islamic faith when they desecrate by way of continuous killings of innocent people.

“They merely use Islam as strategy to enable easy recruitment of gullible cannon fodders.

”West African countries should also regard all violent herdsmen who kill innocent people as criminals and treat them as such.No ethnic or religious coloration to purely criminal acts”. (Globalsentinel)

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Sri Lanka Easter Bombing In Churches And Hotels: 156 Dead, 400 Wounded |The Republican News

 

Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo has been hit by at least two new blasts, hours after the country
was struck by a series of six bombings on churches and hotels that killed at least 156 people
and wounded about 400.

The seventh explosion occurred at a hotel near the national zoo in the capital, killing at least two more people, police said, while an eighth blast hit the suburb of Orugodawatta in the north of Colombo.
There were no further details on what was targeted, police said.

Most of the victims were killed in three churches where worshippers were attending Easter Sunday services. Three other bombings struck luxury hotels – the Cinnamon Grand, Kingsbury and Shangri-La – located in the heart of Colombo, killing at least 35 foreigners.

The first explosion was reported in a church located in the capital. The other blasts followed within half an hour.

One of the churches targeted was St Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo. The other two were St
Sebastian’s in Negombo, about 30km from the capital and another in Batticaloa, 250km east
of the capital.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will hold an emergency meeting with the country’s top military officials of the National Security Council. He has also called for an emergency convening of the nation’s parliament on Monday.

St Anthony’s Shrine after an explosion hit the site in Kochchikade, Colombo [Chamila Karunarathne/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images]

Several people were killed as worshippers attended Easter service [Chamila Karunarathne/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images]

Police spokesperson Ruwan Gunasekera said the injured were being evacuated while security
forces have cordoned off the areas and search operations are under way.

Photos circulating on social media showed the roof of one church had been blown almost entirely off in the blast.

World leaders condemn Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka

The floor was littered with a mixture of roof tiles, splintered wood and blood.

Several people could be seen covered in blood, some trying to help those with more serious
injuries.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility.

Government response

The Sri Lankan government has declared a nationwide curfew with immediate effect, junior
defence minister Ruwan Wijewardene said.
“A curfew will be imposed until things settle down,” he told reporters in Colombo.

Government officials also said major social media networks and messaging apps, including
Facebook and WhatsApp, have been blocked inside the country to prevent misinformation and
rumours.

“The government has decided to block all social media platforms in order to prevent incorrect
and wrong information being spread. This is only a temporary measure” Udaya R Seneviratne,

secretary to the president, said in a statement.
Al Jazeera’s Minelle Fernandez, reporting from Colombo, said the crisis was still unfolding.
“We’re hearing that Colombo national hospital is still receiving casualties brought in from the multiple locations.

In Pictures: Sri Lanka Easter Sunday bombings
“In terms of law enforcement, we’ve been hearing that all festivities have been canceled, that
security in and around the city has been tightened,” Fernandez reported.

“It’s still very open-ended … it’s too early [to speculate who is behind the attack] but security
in the capital and the airport has been stepped up following the attacks,” she added.

Coordinated attacks

Rajiva Wijesinha, a former member of the Sri Lankan parliament, told Al Jazeera the
coordinated nature of the attacks has shocked the country.

“It’s actually extremely chilling. We’ve never had anything of this sort before. Sri Lanka had a
terrible time under Tamil Tiger terrorism for about 25 years and then there was a great sense of relief, which I am afraid the West has been fighting with us about, when we got rid of the tiger terrorists,” Rajiva said.

“But the tiger terrorists were never as well organised never and never quite as brilliant in synchronisation and this is obviously something on a much larger scale which is frankly quite terrifying and you know the reactions I’ve heard suggest people are moving into panic mode again,” he said.

“And that is understandable because of the range of these attacks and the concentration on the Christian churches and then the hotels as well suggest we are dealing with something really quite horrible,” Rajiva added.

Speaking to Al Jazeera from Colombo, Ashwin Hemmathagama, a reporter with the Daily FT,
said the attacks were a blow to the country’s tourism sector.

“At the moment, police have cordoned off the areas and cautioned the public to remain vigilant. They have asked the public to stay indoors and avoid hasty decisions because investigations are under way.”

“After the civil war ended, almost a decade ago, the tourism industry was picking up.

Basically, everything was back to its current perspective, but unfortunately this kind of attack
will definitely cripple the tourism sector.”

Source: aljazeera.com

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Cattle Colonies, Islamic Teachers And Their Antecedents In Colonialism Games (Part 1) – Prince Adimula

Prince-Oba-Loye-Adimula

By Prince Oba-Loye Adimula

 

The English meaning of the word “colonialism” expressed a direct revelation of mischief makers or the mischievousness of certain group of individuals or group of cunning ambitious society with missions as…..”the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country or community, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically”.

One do not need further explanation on the missions of the above mentioned groups known as…either..CATTLE REARERS or ISLAMIC SCHOLARS/TEACHERS…. galvanizing around since late 18th Century till date within our contemporary country, now called Nigeria.

FIRST CASUALTIES:

The historical accounts of GOBIRAWA NATIVES otherwise known as aboriginal Hausa people were of a Kingdom that spread round what we know presently as the core Northern Nigeria. The kingdom started between 9th/10th century ago, almost the same century the 2nd generational coming of king Oduduwa Dynasty of Oodua race started down the area known as South west of Nigeria (Detail Historical account of GOBIRAWA and Yoruba Nation to come soon……)

By late 1700s a powerful imperial king Nefata of Gobir/Hausa Kingdom, with ancient Alkalawa town as the capital of the Kingdom. King Nefata, however, loved his crown Prince Yumfa and the imperial king wanted the Prince to have additional spiritual power added to the existing native spiritual power.

Therefore, King Nefata decided to source for an Islamic scholar/teacher from the far away ancient Songhai empire. The Islamic teacher, which was later identified as Usman Dan Fodio

Mallam Dan Fodio was brought down to the ancient Alkalawa town, the ancestral capital of Gobirawa natives, now known as aboriginal Hausa race; to be teaching the crown Prince Yumfa Islamic lectures.

Dan Fodio was allowed access into the palace to integrate with people in both palace and within the community as the crown Prince’s Islamic teacher. Dan Fodio was also granted privileges around within the royal palaces within Gobirawa kingdom.

No too long, the imperial King Nefata died and crown Prince Yumfa was young and once student of Malam Dan Fodio, who pretended to be around the young king to offer advises and bring the young king to orders.

Tricking the system, Mallam Dan Fodio was smart to convinced the generality of Hausa communities to join him to end royalties and taxes to the palace and to the young king for their freedom. However, Dan Fodio stage manage a community war , which broke out in 1804 and Mallam Dan Fodio was supported by the majority of Hausa communities; whereas, the Young imperial king Yumfa was killed with other Hausa kings under the kingdom.

Thereafter, Mallam Dan Fodio and his Fulani warlords reneged on what they promised the Hausa communities and decided to killed anyone who dare them or asked questions.

Complementarily, Mallam Dan Fodio established caliphate instead of kingdom. Sultan to head all, Emirs to manage communities and towns; Serikis to run villages and small settlements; and by 1809 all the Emirs and Serikis were of Fulani blood and it has remained so till date.

Mallam Dan Fodio, as Sultan, mandated and swore that the Gobirawa natives or Hausa race must never again rule over their land.

Systematically, part of the colonized styles employed was…….as a Fulani descendants, they agreed never to allowed or teach strangers, especially Hausa people their Fulani language (FUFULDI) but to dropped their Fufuldi language within themselves and adopted to learn the Hausa language.

This language crossing and language secrecy within minority Fulani was employed to control the Hausa majority. Surprisingly, no full-blooded Hausa descendants could speak or understand Fulani’s Fufuldi language but all Fulanis speak Hausa fluently as their accepted second language.

Also, Fulanis do marry Hausa women but Fulani forbidden marriages between their women and Hausa men, except otherwise on a very coordinated and espionage missions on any Hausa man.

TO BE CONTINUED…

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Military Should Change Strategy To Win War Against Boko Haram – IBB |RN

John Adams, Minna

 

As Nigerians prepare to go the polls in less than 30 days, former military President, Ibrahim Babangida, has urged the military to change strategy in order to defeat Boko Haram.

General Babangida also urged the military to ensure it remains apolitical and face its constitutional responsibility of protecting the territorial integrity of the country from external aggressions.

In a statement issued in Minna, capital of Niger State, personally signed by him, yesterday, to mark this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration, he pointed out that “it is pertinent for the top echelons of our military to speedily evolve new combat strategy to bravely confront the callous terrorists who have continued to hold many parts of the North East, and in extension, Nigeria in ransom.

“As we prepare to celebrate this year’s Remembrance Day, we should not be oblivious of the fact that our military is presently faced with horrific challenges in the crucial counterinsurgency war, and activities of other blood-thirsty armed groups.

“To say the least, these ugly circumstances are not only heart-rending, but unacceptable.”

Babangida maintained that it is high time, therefore, “we seek to consolidate our gains and also, fortify our combat strength.

“Every year, our valiant Armed Forces majestically roll out their drums to honour our slain fallen heroes, with streams of organised fascinating events coming to a climax on January 15,” and added that “the 2019 edition is coming at a critical period when the teeming Nigerian electorate will go to the polls next month to elect their new leaders at various levels of government.

“In recent times, elections have tested our unity as a people, while also posing threats to our socicultural diversity and challenging our common destiny.

“I salute the uncommon bravery of our lion-hearted fallen heroes who paid the supreme price in their quest to defend our Fatherland. “Let me also commend our armed forces for their resilience over the years in maintaining peace in Nigeria, United Nations Missions, African Union and regional interventions.

“I urge all Nigerians to support our military at all times.

“While identifying with the officers and men of the Nigerian armed forces on the momentous occasion of this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day, I wish all Nigerians happy new year,” Babangida said.  (The Sun)

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Fresh Attacks: 8 Soldiers 10 Boko Haram Members Killed In Yobe, Borno |RN

Olaleye Aluko, Abuja

 

More than 10 soldiers were allegedly killed after the Islamic State West African Province faction of the Boko Haram insurgents attacked army bases in Kangarwa, Malumfatori and Arge areas of Borno State and Buni Gari, Yobe State, between Saturday and Monday.

The attacks started with Buni Gari on Saturday and spread to Malumfatori on Monday.

On Tuesday, our correspondent learnt that  ISWAP fighters were also sighted in Mattari village in the Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State, with fears of impending attacks on military locations in Jakana and Benishek.

In Malumfatori on Monday, our correspondent learnt that there was a fierce gun battle between government forces and the terrorists, who attempted to overrun the military base in the town.

Eight soldiers were allegedly killed when the terrorists attacked Buni Gari after which the terrorists reportedly stole a gun truck and destroyed an armoured vehicle.

The Nigerian Army confirmed that eight of its troops were killed in Buni Gari, noting that over 10 Boko Haram fighters were also killed by troops.

The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Sani Usman, said, “It is not true that Boko Haram is holding any area. Indeed, eight of our gallant troops paid the supreme price, while over  10  Boko Haram terrorists were killed by the troops during the encounter at Buni Gari.”

A military source confirmed Tuesday’s attacks by Boko Haram, saying the insurgents were believed to be having the upper hand in Kangarwa and Arge.

He said, “ISWAP has claimed responsibility for the attacks on Buni Gari and Arge. They seem to have taken over some communities in the two areas. Also in Mattari village in the Konduga LGA, Boko Haram fighters were seen gathering on Tuesday.

“The location is a few miles to Jakana or Benishek. There are military facilities in both areas.”

Meanwhile,   the number of casualties of the Malumfatori gun battle between the insurgents and troops could not be confirmed by our correspondent as of press time. However, unconfirmed reports said both sides recorded deaths and injuries.

The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali,  on Monday, directed that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai,  to remain in the North-East until the security situation in the region improves.

Dan-Ali also said  President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the “emergency procurement of critical equipment” for the armed forces to be more efficient.

“The CDS and the army chief were also mandated to effect changes in the operational commands of Operations Delta Safe, Lafiya Dole, Sharan Daji and Awatse. This is to enable them to meet up with the current threats and security challenges in their areas of responsibility,” the minister’s Public Relations Officer Col Tukur Gusau said.  (Punch)

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Scores Killed In Fresh Boko Haram Attack On Army Location |The Republican News

Olaleye Aluko, Abuja

Boko Haram terrorists, in what appears to be an unending onslaught on locations of the Nigerian Army, on Wednesday evening attacked the troops’ base in Damasak, Borno State, resulting in a heavy gunfire which lasted for several hours.

The army has confirmed the attack, saying troops of 145 Battalion in Damasak, withstood the insurgents and killed scores of them in the firefight.

The army was, however, silent on the number of casualties sustained on the side of the troops.

Damasak is a town in the Mobbar Local Government Area, some 146 Kilometres from Maiduguri, the state capital.

It will be recalled that the Boko Haram insurgents only last week attacked troops’ location in Gudumbali in the Guzamala LGA and Baga in the Kukawa LGA, resulting in an undisclosed number of casualties on both sides.

The army’s Director of Public Relations and Information, Brig. Gen. Texas Chukwu, on Thursday confirmed that “many Boko Haram terrorists” were killed in the attack on troops’ location in Damasak.

He said, “Troops of 145 Battalion in Damasak engaged the Boko Haram terrorists who came to attack their location at about 6pm on Wednesday. This resulted into a fierce battle.

“The troops engaged and subdued the terrorists in Damasak following a superior firepower. The troops’ aggressive posture, tactics and marksmanship resulted in the neutralising of many Boko Haram terrorists.

“Consequently, the army wishes to state that the fight against Boko Haram terrorists in the North-East part of the country is yielding a positive result.

“We, therefore, advise members of the public, particularly residents of the affected areas, to go about their legitimate businesses as the army will continue to protect lives and property of citizens at all times.”   (Punch)

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