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The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) yesterday said the January 17 bombing of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Rann, Borno State, where hundreds of IDPs were killed by a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) strike was caused by lack of appropriate marking of the area.
Speaking on the report at a joint press briefing of the Armed Forces yesterday in Abuja, Director of Defence Information (DDI), Maj. Gen John Enenche, said the location where the incidence happened was not reflected in the operational map as a humanitarian base.
Enenche noted people were not expected to congregate at that location, noting that the Boko Haram terrorists use the method to form-up before attacking innocent civilians.
According to him, when mass movement was noticed through aerial satellite observation, it was taken for Boko Haram terrorists’ activity, which needed to be neutralised without delay.
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To avert future occurrences, Enenche said: “All locations where humanitarian activities take place in the theatre of operation should be marked appropriately for ground and aerial identification in line with international best practices.
“The geographical and spatial coordinates of all areas of humanitarian activities within the theatre should be provided to the Theatre Command Headquarters.
“There should be timely and mandatory exchange of information between stakeholders, for all activities in the theatre of operation.”
On the clash between the Nigerian Army personnel and Police, which occurred on April 11, 2017 in Damaturu that led to the death of one soldier and three policemen, with seven policemen injured, Enenche said, was caused by an avoidable misunderstanding from exchange of words and physical confrontation.
The defence spokesman noted that the board of inquiry setup recommended strict centralised operational and administrative control on all security agencies serving under Operation Lafiya Dole.
“Offenders in the incident are to be sanctioned appropriately to serve as a deterrent to other personnel in the Theatre of operation. The outcome of all disciplinary actions should be communicated to other parties,” he added.
He, however urged all Nigerians and members of the public to continue to support the Armed Forces of Nigeria in tackling security challenges, while urging the troops to remain committed in carrying out its roles professionally.
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