The Guardian (Lagos)

26 August 2014

Nigeria: Troops Return From Cameroun, to Begin Counter-Terrorism Campaign

Photo: Premium Times
Nigerian soldiers.

THE Defence Headquarters has confirmed that troops who returned from Cameroun were Tuesday addressed by the General Officer Commanding 3 Division, Maj.-Gen. Zaruwa as they embarked on another mission in the counter-terrorism campaign.

It said: "All the soldiers are in high spirit with all their weapons and equipment intact."

Meanwhile, the International Emergency Management Society (TIEMS), Nigeria/West Africa Chapter, has asked the Federal Government to direct its military to go all out in the fight against Boko Haram and other insurgent groups and restore peace and tranquillity to the country immediately.

Chairman of the chapter, Air Vice Marshall Muhammad Audu-Bida (rtd), who said this in Abuja yesterday while disclosing the outcome of a meeting of the executive board of the society held on Monday, said the board members considered the worsening humanitarian situation in the North-East of Nigeria as well as adjoining states and neighbouring countries and concluded that it was time that all be set aside to wrest the area from rampaging insurgents and restore peace.

According to him, figures from local and international agencies such as National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Human Rights Watch, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and Internally-Displaced Monitoring Centre (IDMC) reveal mounting intolerable number of Nigerians are both displaced or are refugees in neighbouring countries.

He noted that as at March this year, close to four million Nigerians were displaced while over 100,000 were recorded as sheltering in refugee camps in Niger, Chad and Cameroun.

Audu-Bida declared that this could not be allowed to continue because humanitarian aid agencies are unable to reach these displaced people for fear of being attacked or kidnapped by terrorists who have no respect for rules of engagement in their operations.

He said: "As a former military general myself, I am aware that our military is capable to quelling this insurgency because they have the training, courage and equipment to accomplish the task of securing the country's territory but they should be allowed by political authorities to carry out their duties unfettered by political, ethnic or religious coloration and or sentiments."

While sympathising with parents and relatives of the abducted Chibok secondary school girls and other abducted Nigerians, the TIEMS Chairman said: "Reportedly, parents of the girls have patriotically called on the Federal Government not to allow Boko Haram insurgents to use the girls as human shields to continue to wreak havoc on the country."

He noted that fighting insurgency and restoring peace have never been a piece of cake in any clime and cited the instance of the United States of America which refused to yield to Islamic State terrorists who demanded ransom in exchange for the American captured journalist but rather continued to rain heavy sorties on the insurgents in Northern Iraq.

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InFocus

Fleeing Nigerian Soldiers Return From Cameroon

Nigerian soldiers.

The Defence Headquarters have confirmed the return of over 400 soldiers who reportedly fled into Cameroon after fierce fighting against Boko Haram insurgents. Read more »