Vanguard (Lagos)

26 February 2013

Nigeria: No Fresh Amnesty for N-Delta Region - IATF Coordinator

Warri — Coordinator of the Inter-Agency Task Force, IATF, set up by the Federal Government to carry out the verification and reconciliation of disarmament records of repentant militants, Air Vice Marshal James Gbum, has said that the government had not declared a fresh amnesty programme for the Niger Delta region.

He spoke at the 3 Battalion Army Barracks, Effurun, during the display of weapons surrendered by ex-militants to Joint Task Force, JTF, and other security agencies in the state.

Air vice Marshal Gbum, said the Federal Government set up the Task Force because, despite the successes recorded by the amnesty programme, it was still very clear that "a significant quantity of arms and ammunition are still in the hands of former militants, criminals and other residual groups in the region." He noted that the Task Force was meant to mop up arms and ammunition so surrendered by genuine militants up till March 2012.

He said,the mandate of the Task Force that had been in Delta State for the past three weeks was "simply to reconcile the Disarmament Records and Document qualified former armed youths in the state.

"Though the Task Force was often referred to as an Inter-Agency Task Force for the Third Phase Amnesty Programme, the President has not declared a fresh Amnesty Programme for Niger Delta.

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