Tag Archives: North East

Bad roads in North East causing delay on operations – Chief of Defense Staff.

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In December last year, over 60 people were kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists along the 40km Maiduguri/Jakana road.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Maj-Gen. Lucky Irabor, has said that bad roads stifle military operations in the North East region of the country.

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Irabor raised the alarm at the weekend in Maiduguri, when he visited the Shehu of Borno, Abubakar Umar Garbai El-Kanemi, for a royal blessing in the counter-terrorism operations.

The General, who led the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Maj-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru; Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), RAdm. Auwal Gambo; and Chief of Air Staff, Isiaka Amao, to the Shehu’s palace, said: “Until there is adequate provision for the prosecution of the ongoing conflict, it would be difficult to achieve the needed success.

Nigerian Army soldiers are seen driving on a military vehicle in Ngamdu, Nigeria, on November 3, 2020. (Photo by Audu Marte / AFP)

“Assessing the road network is the issue and this is not the job of the Operation Lafiya Dole. There cannot be good governance without a good road network.”

The former COAS, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai (rtd.) had also lamented the poor state of roads in Borno.

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He had told journalists at the Monguno military barracks in 2018 that good roads in the theatre of war could reduce time of response to various attacks on communities, adding that insurgents also cash in on the bad roads to attack and kidnap motorists.

In December last year, over 60 people were kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists along the 40km Maiduguri/Jakana road.

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#Newsworthy

Jihadists snatch military base in Northeast Nigeria.

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Last week, the jihadists attacked the Marte base but were repelled, prompting them to mobilise more fighters for the overnight raid, said the sources.

Jihadists aligned with the Islamic State militant group have captured a military base in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state after overnight clashes with troops, sources told AFP on Saturday.

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Machine-gun wielding fighters from Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) attacked the base in the town of Marte in the Lake Chad area overnight Friday into Saturday, two sources said.

“The priority now is to reclaim the base from the terrorists and an operation is underway,” one of the sources said.

“We took a hit from ISWAP terrorists. They raided the base in Marte after a fierce battle.”

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The second source said the army “incurred losses” but it was not yet clear how many people had died or the level of destruction inflicted by the insurgents.

ISWAP, which split from Boko Haram in 2016, maintains camps on islands in Lake Chad — where Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad meet — and the area is known to be group’s bastion.

The raid was seen as a “fightback” after recent losses — troops recently overran ISWAP’s second largest camp in Talala village, said the sources.

In November last year, officials began the phased return of residents to Marte six years after they were pushed out by the jihadists.

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The town, 130 kilometres (80 miles) from the regional capital Maiduguri, was once considered the breadbasket of the Lake Chad region.

At least 36,000 people have been killed in the jihadist conflict since 2009 and violence has spread into neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military coalition.

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#Newsworthy

Storyline: Egypt inferno kills seven COVID-19 patients

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Firefighters were dispatched to the facility and stopped the blaze from spreading, local media reported.

A fire at a hospital north of Cairo on Saturday killed seven coronavirus patients, security and judicial sources said.

The blaze in the intensive care unit of the hospital in Obour district, on the outskirts of Cairo, also injured five other people, the sources said.

It was not immediately clear what caused the fire, the sources said, adding prosecutors had launched an investigation into the incident.

Egypt has so far registered 130,126 Covid-19 cases, including 7,309 fatalities.

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Health facilities in the North African country, like elsewhere, have been strained by the mounting number of infections.

In June, a fire at a hospital in Egypt’s coastal city of Alexandria killed seven coronavirus patients and injured seven others.

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#Newsworthy

Jihadist attack on N/East Nigeria claims over 100 lives – UN

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The attack took place as voters went to the polls in long-delayed local elections in Borno State.

A weekend attack on a village in northeast Nigeria blamed on the Boko Haram jihadist group left at least 110 dead, the UN humanitarian coordinator in the country said Sunday.

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“At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack,” Edward Kallon said in a statement after initial tolls indicated 43 and then at least 70 dead from Saturday’s massacre by suspected Boko Haram fighters.

“The incident is the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year,” Kallon said, adding: “I call for the perpetrators of this heinous and senseless act to be brought to justice.”

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The bloodletting took place in the village of Koshobe near the main city of Maiduguri, with assailants targeting farmers on rice fields.

Borno Governor Babaganan Umara Zulum attended the burial Sunday in the nearby village of Zabarmari of 43 bodies recovered on Saturday, saying the toll could rise after search operations resumed.

The assailants tied up the agricultural workers and slit their throats, according to a pro-government anti-jihadist militia.

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The victims were among labourers from Sokoto state in northwestern Nigeria, roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) away, who had travelled to the northeast to find work, it said.

Six were wounded in the attack and eight remained missing as of Saturday.

Kallon, citing “reports that several women may have been kidnapped”, called for their immediate release and return to safety.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the attack, saying: “The entire country has been wounded by these senseless killings.”

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The polls had been repeatedly postponed because of an increase in attacks by Boko Haram and a rival dissident faction, ISWAP.

The two groups have been blamed for increasing attacks on loggers, farmers and fishermen whom they accuse of spying for the army and pro-government militias.

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#Newsworthy

Just in: landmine kills 9 troops in Northeast Nigeria

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News of the incident was slow to emerge due to lack of communication network as the militants have destroyed telecom infrastructure in the region.

At least nine Nigerian troops were killed when a military truck hit a landmine in jihadist-wracked northeast Nigeria, two security sources told AFP Wednesday.

The incident happened on Monday near the town of Malam Fatori on the border with Niger which houses a garrison of soldiers fighting insurgent groups, the sources, who asked not to be identified, told AFP.

“We lost nine soldiers in the incident,” said the first security source.

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The military convoy was transporting food from regional capital Maiduguri, 200 kilometres (130 miles) away, when the lead vehicle hit the explosive device, the second source said.

The IS-aligned Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) is dominant in the Lake Chad region including Malam Fatori where they have been locked in a war with troops from Nigeria and Niger.

“The mine was definitely planted by ISWAP terrorists who operate in the area and against whom soldiers are fighting,” said the second source who gave the same toll.

ISWAP split from mainstream Boko Haram jihadist group six years ago and rose to become a dominant group.

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The insurgents have made repeated deadly attempts to overrun the Malam Fatori base.

The group focuses on military targets, raiding bases, laying ambush to troops and planting mines on the roads, although they have in recent times been attacking and abducting civilians.

At least 36,000 people have been killed in the jihadist conflict which displaced around two million from their homes since 2009.

The violence spread into neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military coalition to fight the militants.


#Newsworthy…

Three insurgents strongholds unveiled in North East.

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Three flashpoints have been identified as the strongholds of the Boko Haram insurgents in the North East, following a week-long engagement with the service chiefs and other stakeholders in the region.

The areas are Lake Chad fringes, Sambisa Forest, and the Mandara mountains – all located in Borno State.

The engagement which took place on the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari also had the north-east governors in attendance.

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“The President has assured the people of Borno State and indeed the north-eastern subregion that he will do everything possible within his reach to ensure that lives and property of people living in Borno State are secured,” Governor Babagan Zulum told reporters in Maiduguri, the state capital shortly after his arrival from Abuja on Sunday.

He added, “We have discussed, especially the issue of strengthening security in the fringes of the Lake Chad and Mandara mountains, as well as in the Sambisa Forest and I think my meeting with the Chief of Air Staff, as well as Chief of Naval Staff and also General (Tukur) Buratai is very promising.”

The governor said Buratai, who is the Chief of Army Staff, promised to look into the issue of clearing the enclaves of the insurgency in the three flashpoints identified.

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He was confident that with the renewed commitment of the President and service chiefs, peace would reign again in Borno.

Zulum, who is also the Chairman of the North-East Governors’ Forum, had led his colleagues to the Presidential Villa in the nation’s capital and continued engagements with the service chiefs throughout the week.

While at the Villa, the governors identified some of the root causes of the insurgency raving the region and stressed the need for the Nigerian government to address them

They were of the opinion that the insurgents were taking advantage of endemic poverty and hunger among other challenges in the region to recruit more members into their fold.

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The governors said the people need to go back to their farmlands and resettle in their original homes so that they can revive their means of livelihood.

They also recommended that police should be provided with state-of-the-art equipment and armoured personnel carriers, with a view to bridging the manpower gap in the military.

On his part, President Buhari gave strong assurances that security would be restored to Borno State, the North East, and the nation at large.

He also informed the governors that things would improve very soon as the government was acquiring modern equipment to fight insurgencies in the region.


#Newsworthy…

U.S donates $40m to assist humanitarian efforts in Nigeria

…Says it will hold Nigeria accountable if security forces violate human rights


As Nigerians grapple with the reality of the visa ban slammed on the country and five others, the United States has donated an additional $40 million to assist humanitarian efforts in the northeast.
The United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, announced the donation at the end of the 5th Session of the Nigeria-United States of America Bi-national Commission held in Washington D.C, United States.
The United States added that the amount will help in the rehabilitation of victims of Boko Haram insurgency, including others who have suffered similar fate in the northeast.
Pompeo who spoke after a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, recalled that the United States had in 2019, provided nearly the sum of $350 million to assist the victims.
He disclosed that the meeting centred on how to continue to strengthen the economic and security ties between both countries, which he said, was a real priority for the Trump administration in Africa because Nigeria is Africa’s most populous democracy and its largest economy.
Pompeo added that Nigeria is already America’s second-largest trading partner in Africa as United States companies from Google to Chevron to KPMG, invested over a billion dollars in Nigeria in 2018 alone, creating over 18,000 jobs and indirectly supporting three million others.
He further disclosed that both countries discussed how to tighten trade ties even further, including in infrastructure investment and embracing free-market policies that attract capital – private capital, ensuring consistent enforcement of the law, stating that doubling down on anti-corruption efforts are the surest way to grow prosperity in Nigeria and all across the region.
Pompeo added that the United States was pleased that President Muhammadu Buhari had prioritized that fight against corruption in the country which was why the United States signed an agreement to return more than $308 million in assets stolen by former military head of state, late General Sani Abacha.Pompeo who further spoke on the cooperation between the United States and Nigeria in the area of security, said the cooperation had been expanding.
“Case in point: Nigeria’s recent $500 million purchase of 12 U.S.-made A-29 aircraft. This supports President Buhari’s recently-stated goal of creating ‘a security force with the best training and modern weaponry.’
“He also pledged that those forces ‘will be held to the highest standards of… respect for human rights.’
“The United States will hold Nigeria to that pledge, and we’ll help you achieve it. The United States has already invested in the training of Nigeria’s military on human rights and the Law of Armed Conflict.
“Nigeria was one of the first African nations to join the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. America is now supporting the Nigerian fight against ISIS’s largest global affiliate, ISIS-West Africa – a dangerous threat to both of our countries.
“In part, due to this terrorism threat, on Friday, President Trump announced the suspension of immigrant visas for Nigerians because Nigeria has room to grow in sharing important national security information. I am optimistic that’s going to happen. In the proclamation, President Trump highlighted Nigeria’s importance as a strategic partner in the global fight against terrorism and recognized the government’s commitment to improving information sharing with us.
“The foreign minister and I also discussed today, the massive humanitarian crisis and the conflict with Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa and other religious and ethnic violence.
“We know that these issues are hard. We know that they’re complicated. But I strongly encouraged the Nigerian Government to do more to protect its civilians, including religious communities and the humanitarian organizations seeking to assist them.
“To aid in this effort, I’m pleased to announce today an additional $40 million in humanitarian assistance to Nigeria, adding to the nearly $350 million that we provided last year,” Pompeo said.On his part, Onyeama said the Nigeria-United States Bi-national Commission was a very important and valued framework for the cooperation between the United States and Nigeria which reflected the importance that Nigeria attach to the bilateral relations between both countries.
He stated that the areas highlighted by Pompeo such as security, democracy and governance, corruption and economic development were extremely at the heart of the Buhari administration.
“We – the three thematic areas that we dealt with, which were also mentioned by the secretary – of course, security. Security for us has become a major issue, an existential threat. But of course, we know that terrorism is a global threat, and we appreciate and value very much, the cooperation that we’ve received from the United States Government. As the secretary mentioned, there are some fighter planes, A-29 Super Tucanos that we hope to be able to procure to help us on this fight. But there are other areas – sharing of intelligence with our partners – that the United States has been supporting us in. We appreciate very much that support.
“Of course, we are faced with other security issues within Nigeria, and we know that some of them are causes of disquiet amongst our partners, and we are addressing a number of them. And in addressing those internal challenges, and especially in the security area, we absolutely make it clear and strive to uphold human rights. We have the greatest interest in protecting the – and respecting the human rights of our population, and we do that.
“Of course, the other area that we’ve discussed has been democracy and governance. And as the secretary has mentioned – and we thank again the United States for it – the sums of money that was restituted to Nigeria with the Bailiwick, it’s called, State of Jersey and the United States, $321 million, we appreciate the effort – and steps that have been taken in accessing these stolen funds. And it’s an area that we prioritize in our country because huge resources have been siphoned out of our country.
“And of course, in some of these cases, it takes a bit longer than we would like to have these funds returned to our country, but we’re working very closely with the United States and we appreciate the support being provided in recovering and repatriating these illicit financial flow funds, and also, of course, as I said, the government of Jersey,” Onyeama said.


#Newsworthy…