Security: CSOs laud military over peace in north-east

The Coalition on Conflict Resolution and Human Rights in Nigeria has described as false, recent report in the media credited to Amnesty International that over 60 persons were killed in Rann area of Borno State by members of the Boko Haram insurgents.

Amnesty International had in a statement claimed that at least 60 people were killed following the 28 January devastating Boko Haram attack on Rann, a border town in Borno State, northeast Nigeria.

However, the human rights group said its investigative tour of the theatre didn’t only reveal that Amnesty International lied on its claim, it also showed that INEC’s decision to conduct elections in all the polling units across the north-east was well placed with the realities on ground.

The coalition made this known in a preliminary report presented on Monday in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

The report signed by its President/Convener, Gabriel Oche, said it was high time the Nigerian government began the process of expelling organizations such as Amnesty International from the country for its notoriety.

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Oche said: “The current news making the rounds on Boko Haram attacks in Rann, Damaturu road and other parts of the North East necessitated the Coalition on Conflict Resolution and Human Rights in Nigeria to activate a team of researchers to undertake an assessment tour of the above mentioned areas with a view to leaving the realm of speculation and to put things in proper perspective.

The operations of the Boko Haram terrorists in North East Nigeria have been the subject of debate across various platforms in Nigeria. While it has been stated in numerous forums that Boko Haram has been degraded, some organizations have countered the argument indicating that Boko Haram has instead intensified its operations against the Nigeria state.

“The Nigerian military, on the other hand, has been in the vanguard of engaging the terrorist and this has resulted in casualties on both sides. This much has been evident in ensuring that peace is restored to North East Nigeria and the safe return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their homes and communities.

“From previous reports on the activities of the Nigerian military in North East Nigeria, it has been revealed that the since 2015 the Nigerian military gained grounds and recovered many territories that were once under the control of Boko Haram terrorists and it has continually engaged the Boko Haram terrorist who has resorted to using Nigeria’s neighbours (Chad, Niger, and Cameroon) as retreat areas whenever they come under heavy bombardment from the Nigeria military .

“Boko Haram has also set up training camps along the fringes and use such location to launch attacks in communities in Nigeria and after that retreat to these countries. This is despite the memorandum of understanding signed between Nigeria and the francophone countries towards forming an alliance to combat terrorism in Sub Saharan Africa.

“There also have been established cases of external support towards the Boko Haram terrorist, especially with the affiliation of the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) and other terrorist’s networks in the world.

“Consequently, this report looks critically at the claims made by the Nigeria Army towards degrading the Boko Haram and also the counterclaims made by some organizations such as Amnesty International and others.

“Some residents of the area that were interviewed shared the same sentiment on the possibility of Amnesty International working in cahoots with either some foreign interests or with the Boko Haram terrorists themselves. It was therefore concluded that the hype around the Rann Attack is mischievous and misleading.

“The relevant authorities must warn the populace on the dangers posed by some identified NGOs in North East Nigeria
The relevant authorities must begin a security audit of all the international NGOs operating in North East Nigeria.

“The relevant authorities must make it mandatory for all NGOs in North East Nigeria to submit a weekly report of its activities in North East Nigeria to the Nigerian Military for vetting and approval before making public,” he said.

 

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