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Killings: Buhari Approves Army’s Special Operations on ‎Southern Kaduna, Plateau

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..Jude Johnson 

The President of Nigeria, Mohammadu Buhari, has approved the Army’s special operations code named Kunama 2 (Scorpion 2) in the Southern Kaduna, Kano and Plateau as part of measures to contain the onslaught of herdsmen on farming communities resulting in killings of indigenes of that area.
This is coming barely 24 hours after the United Nations  (UN) called for full investigation into the latest massacres by suspected herdsmen against mostly Christian communities of North Western state of Kaduna.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, announced these measures on Thursday  after the President l had five-hour closed-door meeting with ‎Security Chiefs in the country ‎at the Presidential Villa, Abuja‎.
Buratai said that security meeting ‎reviewed the crisis in the Southern part of Kaduna, in Northwest‎
Nigeria and other parts of the country.

He said that the  Army plans to conduct military exercises in Southern Kaduna, Plateau and Kano States – tagged  Operation Kunama (Scorpion).

The army chief also disclosed that ‘Operation Python Dance’ in the South East which has been greeted with criticisms would be renamed.‎

According to him, the operations to check Fulani herdsmen attacks on Southern Kaduna villagers would now extend beyond Kaduna up to the neighbouring Plateau and Kano states which had also witnessed similar challenges in the past in order to forestall reoccurrence.
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He said: “Our troops are already in Southern Kaduna. We have our special forces operating there along with all other security agencies and we intend also to have an exercise very soon in Southern Kaduna to cover some parts of Plateau and parts of Kano states.‎

‎”So, it is part of our strategy for this year – to continue all the exercises we have had before. We will be having ‘Exercise Kunama 2’ which will come to Southern Kaduna state and part of Plateau and Kano states.

“Crocodile Smile in the Niger Delta and indeed, the ‘Python Dance’ (will continue), but we are going to rename the ‘Python Dance’ for the South East‎ this year also.”‎

Speaking further, Buratai disclosed that the military operations, tagged Operation Lafiya Dole, will continue in the Sambisa Forest where troops ‎recently flushed out remnants of Boko Haram terrorists who had held sway there.

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He also assured that Buhari’s directive on clearing the terrorists “is there, we are still pursuing it and it is a task we must accomplish at all cost”.

In the same vein,  three ‎Minister of Defence, Brig-Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd),said that “major security issues were discussed and we were able to come to conclusion on almost all the crisis that are going on across the country.

“The Southern Kaduna, the Niger Delta issues and other major crisis areas were discussed and resolutions were passed.

“In Southern Kaduna, we have our troops being moved and ‎they have already taken places, operations are going on and I believe that very soon it will come to an end”, Dan-Ali  said.‎

On the possibility of deploying Nigerian troops to The Gambia, the Minister said the matter did not come up at the meeting because “that is not a national issue and I believe the ECOWAS are working on that, we have not reached any conclusion on that”.

Buhari is part of a delegation of the regional body, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) travelling today to mediate in the political impasse between the president-elect there, Adama Barrow and President Yahya Jammeh.

Jammeh has yet refused to relinquish power after losing the presidential election last month despite pressure from ‎ECOWAS, a situation that has given rise to concerns of a probable regional military interv[truncated by WhatsApp]‎

The Southern Kaduna killings which started late last year has seen the
massacre of hundreds and is gradually spiralling into a religious crisis as Christian clerics have cried out to the government ad the President to act fast.

President Buhari had last week directed the Inspector-General of Police to proceed to Souther Kaduna to assess the situation at first hand. In addition to the conventional policemen deployed in the area, a squadron of mobile policemen were also deployed.
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The security meeting is usually held weekly or bi-weekly as the case may be depending on happenings in the country.

The meeting was attended by the Chief of Defence Staff and service chiefs of the Army, Airforce and Navy; Inspector-General of Police; Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS); Minister of Defence‎, and Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency.

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