Why Southern Kaduna killings continue – military

By Editor on 29/07/2020

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Nigerian soldiers

Until the people themselves decided to observe a truce, there may be no end in sight in the current slaughtering of people in Southern Kaduna, because the war and concomitant attacks are mutual, involving youths from both sides of the divide.

In the middle of the Fulani youths and their Zango Kataf opposite who are the promoters of the conflict are bandits, who are also cashing in on the volatile situation, according to Chukwuemeka Okonkwo, Commander of Operation Safe Haven, the arm of the Nigerian Army, currently trying to contain the conflict.   

Okonkwo, told reporters after a security meeting called by Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, as part of the measure to contain the recent spike in the seemingly intractable crisis, also bemoaned the inadequacy of personnel to deal with situation, saying that more military men were needed and the authorities were already addressing that angle.

He spoke on the same day, the governor, expressed regrets that all the measures put together by the state to solve the problem, including attracting both the army and police bases in the area, had failed to work.

Okonkwo, a Major General, said: “What we have were attacks on some communities and reprisal attacks. You have Kataf youths, Fulani militias and the criminal elements of both sides. Any incident is enough to spark off crisis in that area; there have been lingering disputes and animosities, banditry and cattle rustling there.

“We have reviewed our operations. We are going to close ranks. We are going to be more robust in the days to come. If one or two attacks took place, three were prevented. If you know the area very well, the communities are far and dispersed, they are several kilometres apart from each other. The terrain is difficult to access with vehicles.

“And we have limitation of manpower but of course you know that we are committed. But be that as it may, we are going to get more troops. We are strategising, we will deploy as much as possible to shorten our response time. Perhaps, we used to respond a bit late, but if we had not responded, we could have had more casualties.”

El-Rufai, while explain that the meeting was for the government to hear from the leaders of the security agencies deployed in the area on what further measures can be taken to end the agony, talked about how the old demands for a permanent military base and the purchase of an estate to provide accommodation for a permanent mobile police squadron in the area had failed to work.

He said: “"On our part, we continue to support the efforts of the security agencies as best as we can," he added. Mr El Rufai promised that his government "will also continue to invest effort in the urgent necessity to create and sustain a constituency for peace by persuading elected officials, traditional rulers and community leaders in the affected areas to live up to their responsibilities, respect diversity and the rule of law.

"We have nudged stakeholders in Kauru and Zangon-Kataf LGAs on this path and will continue to do so. We have also resolved to address lingering issues from the 1992 crisis in Zangon-Kataf by producing a White Paper on the recommendations made by the Judicial Commission of Inquiry and the Reconciliation Committee," he added.

“So much unhelpful narrative is being spun, but the priority is to stop the bleeding and encourage communities to live in peace. No one should be allowed to get away with crime just because they can hide it under an ethno-religious veneer.Respect for the rule of law compels us to prosecute anyone indicted for involvement in the wanton violence."



Source Whirlwindnews.com

Posted on July, 29 2020

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