EyeWitnesses Confirm militants Abduct 22 More Girls, Women In Nigeria. Army Disagrees

by Samuel Abasi Last updated on April 9th, 2018,

EyeWitnesses Confirm militants Abduct 22 More Girls, Women In Nigeria. militants Islamic terrorists, said to be loyal the faction headed by Abu Musab Al-Barnawi, the son of militants founder Mohammed Yusuf,  have abducted 22 girls and women in two separate raids in north-east Nigeria, residents and vigilantes said. Barnawi was appointed last year by Isis to replace leader Abubakar Shekau, who had pledged allegiance to the jihadist group in 2015.

In the first attack on Thursday, the jihadists raided the village of Pulka near the border with Cameroon where they abducted 18 girls.

“militants fighters from Mamman Nur camp arrived in pickup vans around 6am and seized 14 young girls aged 17 and below while residents fled into the bush,” a Pulka community leader said.

According to the official, the attackers were loyal to the faction headed by Abu Musab Al-Barnawi, the son of militants founder Mohammed Yusuf. Barnawi was appointed last year by Isis to replace leader Abubakar Shekau, who had pledged allegiance to the jihadist group in 2015.

Another resident confirmed the raid and said the girls were likely to end up as brides for the fighters. “They didn’t harm anyone during the raid and they made no attempt to shoot people running away from the village,” said the resident.

In the second incident outside the village of Dumba, close to Lake Chad, the jihadists killed a herdsman who had tried to escape after refusing to pay protection money, said Adamu Ahmed, a member of an anti-militants militia.

“When the militants gunmen came for the money they realised he had left with everything and they decided to go after him on their motorcycles,” Ahmed said. “They caught up with him near Dumba where they slaughtered him and shot dead 50 of his cattle. They took four women from the man’s family and the rest of the herd,” he said.

The promotion of Barnawi had revealed divisions in the group, as Shekau had been criticised for mass killings and suicide attacks against civilians. Barnawi and his right-hand man Mamman Nur, who is seen as the real leader, had promised residents in areas under their control would not be harmed as long as they did not cooperate with Nigerian troops fighting militants.

The Nigerian Army has debunked reports claiming that militants abducted 22 women from Pulka during an attack.

In a statement released in Maiduguri on Saturday, Army spokesman, Brigadier General Sani Usman, said the report was false as Pulka was heavily fortified.

“The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to a news story circulating on Social Media and some mainstream media that suspected militants terrorists have allegedly attacked Pulka and abducted 22 women, attributing it to an unidentified Bulama as source.

“We wish to state that the report is completely false and should be ignored. For the avoidance of doubt, Pulka and its environs is heavily fortified and there has not been any security breach in the area. Media houses are please requested to always cross check their facts before publishing or broadcasting,” he said.

This comes after the Army confirmed that a confessed militants terrorist belonging to Mamman Nur’s faction of the terrorists’ group, Bulama Kailani, had surrendered himself to troops of 145 Task Force Battalion, 5 Brigade, at Damasak.

According to Usman, the surrendered terrorist was at Serial number 253 on the Nigerian Army’s Wanted militants terrorists poster produced recently.He further disclosed that Kailani stated that his motive for surrendering was based on his despair over the lies and falsehoods peddled by his commanders. Similarly, the Army spokesman said that troops of 158 Task Force Battalion of 5 Brigade in Maiduguri have arrested two suspected militants terrorists carrying out surveillance on Kareto and Dangalti villages following a reliable tip-off. He said preliminary investigation showed that the arrested spies were on research mission to facilitate possible militants attack on the communities.

The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted its first resolution addressing militants’s presence in the Lake Chad Basin.

The resolution followed a report of its mission to the region earlier this month. In unanimously adopting the resolution 2349 (2017), on Friday, the Council expressed concern about the protection of civilians affected by terrorism. The Council strongly condemned all terrorist attacks, violations of international humanitarian law and human rights abuses by militants.

The UN body also condemned killings, abductions, child, early and forced marriages, rape, saxual slavery and the increasing use of girls as suicide bombers by the militants terrorists. “Those responsible must be held to account and brought to justice,” the Council declared.

On the humanitarian front, the Council urged all parties to the conflict to ensure respect for and protection of humanitarian personnel, and to facilitate safe, timely and unhindered access for humanitarian organizations to deliver aid. In terms of follow-up, the Council encouraged the Secretary-General to carry out a joint visit to the Lake Chad Basin region with the Chairperson of the AU Commission, the President of the World Bank Group and the President of the African Development Bank.

In the ensuing discussion, delegates welcomed the Council’s unity in passing the resolution on the heels of its mission to Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger from March 2 to 7, to better understand the conflict’s root causes. Several members urged the quick disbursement of funds pledged at the Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region held on Feb. 24.

Cameroon’s ambassador to the UN Tommo Monthe, speaking on behalf of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, described the resolution as a “step change in mobilizing international support for countries to combat militants”. Monthe said that the military response, while essential, should be part of a holistic approach. He urged states to adopt and implement measures to tackle the causes and consequences of the current situation. Monthe expressed hope that the resolution would mark the start of more decisive support to the affected countries, who had been forced to curtail spending on education, health and other efforts.

In similar vein, Nigeria’s representative, Anthony Bosah, welcomed the resolution’s call for enhanced regional military cooperation and coordination, emphasizing that Nigeria was resolute in its efforts to defeat terrorism. Bosah said people of the Lake Chad Basin needed support, pointing out that shrinking of Lake Chad had exacerbated their hardship, with cross-border knock-on effects making it difficult for governments to meet people’s needs.

Senegal’s representative, Fode Sech, welcomed the resolution especially it’s pledge to support the efforts of Lake Chad Basin countries to combat militants activities.

The Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom and UN Security Council’s President for the month of March, Mathew Rycroft, said the fact-finding mission to the region was an eye-opener. “We will fail the people of the region if we do not respond to what we saw,” Rycroft said.

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