Borno closes three roads to pre­vent wounded ter­ror­ists from flee­ing

NAF de­nies al­le­ga­tions of rights abuse in Nu­man killings

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - NEWS - From Njad­vara Musa (Maiduguri) and Se­gun Olaniyi (Abuja)

THE Borno State govern­ment yes­ter­day closed three roads to pre­vent some wounded Boko Haram ter­ror­ists from flee­ing. The state Com­mis­sioner of In­for­ma­tion, Dr. Mo­hammed Bu­lama, dis­closed this in a state­ment in Maiduguri, the state cap­i­tal.

He said the clo­sure fol­lowed the ad­vice of the Theatre Com­man­der of Op­er­a­tion Lafiyadole, Ma­jGen. Rogers Ni­cholas.

Ac­cord­ing to the army au­thor­i­ties, the ter­ror­ists sus­tained the in­juries when the mil­i­tary launched at­tacks against them in the Sam­bisa For­est.

The blocked roads cover a dis­tance of 300 kilo­me­tres and are lo­cated on the eastern and north­ern flanks of the for­est.

The tem­po­rary clo­sure of roads, which be­gan yes­ter­day, would last till Fe­bru­ary 4, 2018.

Ni­cholas dis­closed that the in­sur­gents had been at­tack­ing and killing peo­ple in sev­eral com­mu­ni­ties ad­journ­ing the for­est in Borno, Yobe and Gombe states, adding that the roads were closed to pro­tect the lives and prop­erty of the peo­ple.

The 134-kilo­me­tre Da­maturu-biu road, which lies on the western flank of the for­est, was how­ever, not closed by both Borno and Yobe states govern­ment. Mean­while, the Nige­rian Air Force (NAF) has de­nied al­le­ga­tion by the Amnesty In­ter­na­tional (AI) that it com­mit­ted hu­man right abuses in some com­mu­ni­ties in Nu­man, Adamawa State.

A state­ment by NAF’S spokesman, Air Vice Mar­shal Ola­tokunbo Ade­sanya in Abuja yes­ter­day, ex­pressed con­cern that an or­gan­i­sa­tion of the sta­tus of AI would be­lieve such a ridiculous story. He asked how the pi­lot of an air­craft fly­ing at a high speed would be able to dis- tin­guish be­tween a herds­man and a lo­cal farmer be­fore de­cid­ing which one to “bomb.”

Ade­sanya added that the NAF had never been in­volved in set­tling dis­putes be­tween herds­men and farmers, as al­leged by the AI.

He said: “The NAF re­mains a highly pro­fes­sional or­gan­i­sa­tion, which places high value on re­spect for hu­man rights, and there­fore cat­e­gor­i­cally states that the al­le­ga­tions by the Amnesty In­ter­na­tional are lies.”

The state­ment reads in part: “In ac­tual fact, the in­ter­ven­tion of the NAF in the Nu­man cri­sis re­sulted in the suc­cess­ful dis­per­sal of a group of hood­lums who were set­ting some vil­lages around Nu­man on fire.

He ex­plained that on De­cem­ber 4, a NAF In­tel­li­gence Sur­veil­lance and Re­con­nais­sance (ISR) plat­form de­parted Maiduguri to con­duct ISR over Nu­man gen­eral area.

“This was in re­sponse to a re­quest by the Gen­eral Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing (GOC) 3 Ar­moured Di­vi­sion of the Nige­rian Army, fol­low­ing re­ports of clashes around that lo­ca­tion.

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