Alleged killing of 60 civilians: Amnesty International claims on Rann untrue - Army

Alleged killing of 60 civilians: Amnesty International claims on Rann untrue - Army

- Nigerian troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole theatre command have reacted to reports by Amnesty International which claimed that they abandoned their duty

- The troops said they did not abandon their duty neither were they aware of the killing of 60 civilians at Rann, a town in Kala Balge local government area in Borno state

- The soldiers, however, called on the international and local communities to support them bring the dastardly and mindless acts of Boko Haram terrorists to a decisive end

Nigerian Army has condemned alleged reports by Amnesty International claiming that the troops' abandonment of their deployment led to the killing of 60 civilians at Rann, a town in Kala Balge local government area in Borno state, on Thursday, January 28.

This is contained in a statement signed by the deputy director Army public relations of sector 1 that the Theatre commander, Major General Benson Akinroluyo and the Commander Sector 1 Operation Lafiya Dole Brigadier General Bulama Biu.

The statement read: ''Contrary to AI's claims, at no point of the assessment , was any report of the killing of 60 civilians made either by the civilians themselves, whom the sector commander interacted with or by the members of the Joint Task Force who were at hand during the assessment.

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''Again a Search and Rescue Operation that followed after the attack did not recover the said 60 bodies of killed civilians as AI would want members of the public to believe.

''The troops commenced a clearance operation in villages surrounding Rann and destroyed Boko Haram terrorists camps that were uncovered during the operation. In one of such clearance operations on 30 January 2019, the troops encountered an ambush staged by the terrorists along Gamboru - Mafa road and gallantly fought through it, overpowering the insurgents.

''Another issue in the controvertible AI report is the alleged attack on Rann on 28 January 2019, where as, there was no such attack. Rather, an alarm was raised by IDPs in Rann of the sudden withdrawal of Multinational Joint Task Force ( MNJTF) troops from the location, to which the authorities of Operation LAFIYA quickly responded, following which the Commander Sector 1 returned to Rann on Monday 29 January with reinforcement troops to beef-up and support the troops there.

''The astronomical statistics of human casualty touted by AI and the alleged abdication of duty by our selfless and resilient troops cannot hold water in the face of facts of the several exemplary physical involvements of the Theatre commander and the commander Sector 1 as well as Commanders of 22 Brigade and 3 Battalion in ensuring normalcy returns to Rann and the reinforcement and replenishment of the troops.

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''Evidently, in its characteristic inclination to swiftly accuse the Nigerian military of wrong doing, AI failed again to conduct a validity check on its manufactured data before cooking its report.

''No doubt, in battles, collateral damages are unfortunately incurred and troops in the front line are first victims to suffer such damages, up to the point of sacrificing their lives, as they are saddled with the duty to defend their country and the citizenry. We are deeply touched by the demise of those who fell during the callous attack of Rann by Boko Haram terrorists.

''We are also empathic with humanitarian organizations as well as members of International and local NGOs who were affected by the attack. It is indeed another reminder and clarion call on the international and local communities to support the Nigerian military to bring the dastardly and mindless acts of Boko terrorists to a decisive end.''

Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that the Nigerian Army lifted suspension on the activities of the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in the northeastern part of the country following intervention of Nigerians.

The suspension was contained in a statement by Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, deputy director of public relations, theatre command.

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Source: Legit.ng

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