Category Archives: Militant

Deraa, birthplace of Syria uprising, retaken by government forces

Syrian government forces are retaking control of the rebel-held part of Deraa, the birthplace of the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.

Troops, accompanied by Russian military police, entered the area and raised the national flag, state media reported.

Rebels there have reportedly agreed to surrender in return for an amnesty or safe passage to the rebel-held north.

The army has recaptured large swathes of Deraa’s surrounding province since launching a major offensive on 19 June.



Somali capital hit by deadly twin blast

Militants have launched their first major attack in the Somali capital Mogadishu since the start of Ramadan almost two months ago.

Journalists say al-Shabab fighters stormed the ministry of the interior and national security after detonating two car bombs.

The BBC’s Somali service says there have been 10 deaths and at least 20 civilians are reported injured.

Security had been tightened in the city over Ramadan to prevent attacks.

Source: BBC Somali

Somali town ‘bans wedding dancing’

A town in southern Somalia has banned men and women dancing together at weddings, a local radio station is reporting.

Barawe’s district commissioner cited Islamic law as the reason for the dancing ban.

It used to be common for the sexes to intermingle on dance floors in Somalia, until the Islamist militant group al-Shabab began to take over territory in 2007 – imposing a strict version of Sharia in these areas.

Barawe was under the occupation of the militants for seven years until 2014.

Commissioner Adan Omar Madobe also said his administration had banned women from wearing the full-face veil, or niqab – it leaves the area around the eyes clear

He told Radio Kulmiye this decision had been taken for security reasons:

We have seen incidents where men wear a veil to disguise themselves as women with the aim of doing harm to the public.”

It is not the first Somali town to do so – Jowhar banned them in 2015 for the same reasons.


​Ex-militants raise alarm over 2015 Amnesty stipends

PORT HARCOURT—Ex-militants in the Niger-Delta, have accused the Amnesty Office in Abuja of allegedly hijacking part of the 2015 stipends budget.

Speaking to journalists in Lagos, spokesman of the ex-agitators, Mr. Olotu Pella, said that during the protest by some ex-militants with some banks last year, the affected banks decided to return their stipends to the Central Bank of Nigeria, but some Amnesty Office staff, later allegedly hijacked the funds for themselves.

“Today, if we call the Central Bank for the returned funds (stipends), officials will tell you that the stipends had been released to Amnesty Office and if you call Amnesty Office, they will say Central Bank is yet to return the money.

“How can 2015 budgeted stipends remain in Central Bank as at July 2016? If it is true, it tells you the kind of leadership, the amnesty has.

“Is the amnesty officials waiting for the affected camps in the returned money saga to blow-up pipelines before they will act? What type of leadership do we have in Amnesty Office that is yet to complete 2015 budget issue with Central Bank and they are boasting of going to the creek to dialogue with ex-militants over the Avengers threat?”

Contacted, a source in Amnesty Office, who pleaded anonymity denied the allegation, though he noted that he had no official powers to speak on behalf of the office.

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​MEND issues two -week ultimatum

THE Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, yesterday, gave the Federal Government a two-week ultimatum to respond to the demand for dialogue on the Niger Delta question or it would safely assume that government only responds to threat of violence and industrial action.

This came on a day the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, accused the Federal Government of inconsistency in its bid to resolve the problem of renewed militancy in the Niger Delta.

Also yesterday, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s statement that the Federal Government would not discuss with the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, and other militant groups in the Niger Delta to resolve the issues connected to renewed military in the oil-rich region, triggered a response from some militancy groups who said they would step up the bombing of oil and gas installations in their respective towns and villages.

One of them, Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders, which claimed responsibility for the attack on the Brass Creek manifold at Peretorugbene community, Bayelsa State, last week, said it had given security personnel and expatriates working in Beni-seide and Ogbotebe , Tunu flow stations in Bayelsa an ultimatum to vacate the area or face its wrath.

MEND, in a statement by its spokesperson, Jomo Gbomo, gave the reason  it opted for dialogue and constituted Aaron Team 2, including ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, to discuss with the federal government and others on the way forward for the region, but regretted that government was obfuscating the Niger Delta crisis.

It indicated that the group was not prepared to dialogue with the National Security Adviser, NSA, because his office does not have executive power, saying the issues surrounding the Niger Delta question were on the exclusive legislative list, and the proposed dialogue was not an interrogatory session.

The statement read: “The attention of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has been drawn to an article titled: ‘President Buhari Sharpens Focus On Niger Delta,’ written by Mr. Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity.

“We have carefully studied and analyzed the article. We wholeheartedly applaud and welcome President Buhari’s sharpened focus on the Niger Delta even though, in our estimation, Mr. Shehu’s article ironically did more to obtuse the focus.

“Mr. Shehu’s piece was unfortunately marred by sweeping assumptions; hasty generalization; illogicality and poor analysis of the Niger Delta question and, above all, the article merely provided lame excuses for Government’s inability to proffer sustainable solutions to the Niger Delta crisis.

“It was tactless of Mr. Shehu to arrive at a conclusion in his article that, Niger Delta militants were behind the killings of prominent individuals and attacks on some coastal communities in Lagos and Ogun states. This casual but hasty generalization from a presidential spokesperson is, to say the least, steeply divisive and capable of sparking a tribal war of unimaginable consequences between the Ijaw (whose youth are perceived to constitute a large number of the rank and file of Niger Delta militants) and the Yoruba.

“Quite apart from the fact that none of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) operatives has, so far, been arrested by security agencies to establish Mr. Shehu’s sweeping assumption, the comment by Mr. Shehu is regrettable and infra dig his office.

The problem with Buhari

“Going forward, three salient issues which clearly reveal the seeming inability of President Buhari’s government to find sustainable solutions to the Niger Delta crisis can be distilled from Mr. Shehu’s article.

“Firstly, he made heavy weather about the Punch newspaper editorial of July 1, 2016 as a basis to justify government’s reluctance to negotiate with the NDA and other militant groups. Thereafter, he cited National Security Adviser (NSA) General Babagana Mongunno’s alleged encounter with about 14 different militant groups who were all ‘claiming leadership to the renewed onslaught on the nation’s economic jugular vein.’

“Secondly, Mr. Shehu revealed in his article, the reluctance of government to take ‘the strongest possible military action’ against the NDA and other militant groups while appealing to elders and traditional rulers from the Niger Delta such as HRH King Alfred Diette-Spiff, the Amanyanabo of Twon-Brass in Bayelsa State, to beg the militants to ceasefire.

“Thereafter, Mr. Shehu informed that President Buhari would take action (presumably, military action) after receiving reports from the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, who was interfacing with stakeholders; Special Adviser on Niger Delta/Co-coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brigadier General Paul Boroh (retd); and the new management of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

“Thirdly, Shehu, in his article, bemoaned the proliferation of solutions to the Niger Delta crisis while asking rhetorical questions, to wit: ‘How many of those agreements, joint statements, ceasefires and peace declarations do we have on record so far? Why have they not given us peace? What is wrong with those agreements that they do not last?

Pot calling kettle black

“Mr. Shehu failed to proffer answers to his own questions. He also failed to apportion blame on successive governments and the international oil companies (IOCs) who have repeatedly reneged on agreements entered with the people of the Niger Delta. For instance, Mr. Shehu needs to be reminded that government and the IOCs are owing the NDDC billions of Naira in withheld funds. But that is a discussion for another day.

Negotiation different from dialogue

“There is a marked distinction between negotiation with criminals and fraudsters who force concessions from government using the strategy of attacks on oil installations, on the one hand; and dialogue with genuine militant groups such as MEND who are committed to meaningfully engage government on the vexed Niger Delta question, on the other hand.

“While the former engage in militancy for their personal aggrandizement, the latter are patriots who are fighting a just cause and are equally desirous of peace, stability and development of the Niger Delta region for the common good.

“As unfolding events in Nigeria have since revealed, the major challenge of President Buhari’s government lies in its inability to distinguish between NEGOTIATION (emphasis supplied) with criminal elements, such as the NDA, who are sabotaging the nation’s economy and whose demands range from the mundane to the outright ridiculous, on the other hand. And DIALOGUE (emphasis supplied) on the Niger Delta question with a serious-minded group, such as MEND, on other hand.

“The way and manner criminal gang as the NDA hold government to ransom and force concessions is exactly the same way pressure groups such as PENGASSAN, NUPENG or even the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), oftentimes, hold government to ransom regardless of the risks posed by their actions to the national economy and to the lives of ordinary Nigerians.

“The only difference here is that, NDA ups the ante with their senseless and unprovoked attacks on oil installations. Willy- nilly, government must negotiate with them even though their belligerent and bellicose conducts may be inimical to the national interest”.


Also yesterday, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s statement that the Federal Government would not discuss with the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, and other militant groups in the Niger Delta to resolve the issues connected to renewed military in the oil-rich region, triggered a response from some militancy groups who said they would step up the bombing of oil and gas installations in their respective towns and villages.

One of them, Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders, which claimed responsibility for the attack on the Brass Creek manifold at Peretorugbene community, Bayelsa State, last week, said it had given security personnel and expatriates working in Beni-seide and Ogbotebe , Tunu flow stations in Bayelsa an ultimatum to vacate the area or face its wrath.

Osinbajo, who delivered the second foundation lecture of Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin, Ondo State, on Friday, had declared that the Federal Government will not dialogue with the NDA or any militant group for that matter saying, “The so called avengers are not freedom fighters but fighting for their own economic benefits. They are avenging for their private pocket and that is why government is not talking with them”.

In an electronic mail to Sunday Vanguard, the Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders said: “ What has just happened now is to let the entire world, the Nigerian nation and the Niger Delta nation to know that it is no longer business as usual. We want to tell the Niger Delta region that we are proud of the Niger Delta Avengers and urge all Niger Delta to reciprocate the same in their respective towns and villages that oil exploration is going on.

“We are sounding it as a warning to the military personnel and sympathizers working with the Nigerian nation residing in the Beni-seide region that their safety is no longer guaranteed. We are warning them because our mission is not to take innocent souls, but if they take our warning as an act of weakness, we feel very sorry for their wives and children whom they shall leave behind to mourn them.”

“As revolutionary crusaders, we believe in God for true justice and equity, which is why we are giving them the opportunity to evacuate from the area (Beni-e seide flow stations, Ogbotebe, Tunu) immediately because of their wives and children. Our seal team will not spear any act of defiance by the federal troops or expatriates after the expiration of this ultimatum.”

“We are conscious and conversant with all escape routes and hideouts, so please be warned, as we are always in your midst.

“We stand with the Niger Delta Avengers to say we want a lasting peace in our oil-rich region, or what just happened is just a tip of the iceberg. We are in solidarity with the Niger Delta Avengers whose sole aim is the emancipation of the Ijaws the total control of their God-given black Gold, resource control.”

Govt contradicting itself– IYC

Spokesperson for IYC, Eric Omare, in a statement, yesterday, said: “The Federal Government, in the past week, has displayed obvious inconsistencies and lack of commitment towards finding a solution to the renewed hostilities in the Niger Delta.

“It would be recalled recently President Buhari while meeting with some political and religious leaders pleaded with militants to give peace a chance and in another occasion said that the federal government was in the process of identifying the leaders of the different militant groups with a view to dialogue with them.

“Also a few days ago, the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Abdullahi Muhammadu told Nigerians that the issue of militancy would soon be a thing of the past as government was already discussing with the militants.

“However, it shows obvious contradiction and lack of commitment for Vice President Osinbanjo to state on Friday, July 8, 2016 at Akure that the Federal Government is not discussing with the militants because they are economic saboteurs and not freedom fighters.

“The IYC is constrained to ask: What is the correct position of the Federal Government on efforts at resolving the current hostilities in the Niger Delta? Is the Federal Government of Nigeria a boat without a captain for different officers of government to take different position on same issue?

“These contradictions clearly show that the Federal Government lacks any commitment towards resolving the current hostilities in the Niger Delta. The two-week ceasefire that was earlier declared seems to be a smokescreen to create the impression that government is committed to resolving the issues through dialogue whereas there is no such commitment.

“The IYC wishes to state for the umpteenth time that for there to be any meaningful resolution of the renewed militancy in the Niger Delta, President Buhari like his predecessors must provide leadership.

Clash of centrifugal, centripetal forces

“ The clash of centrifugal and centripetal forces within his government supporting and opposing efforts at resolving the current Niger Delta hostilities are playing out because of his failure to provide leadership.

“For any federal government effort at resolving the impasse to achieve the desired result, President Buhari must give a clear direction in order to gain the confidence of the people of the Niger Delta region and for officers of his government to key in.”

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  4. SourceVanguard

​How Niger Delta Avengers, others acquire detonators, explosives

The National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Mongonu (rtd) on Thursday disclosed that explosives experts dispatched to conduct investigations into the incessant bombing attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria have uncovered the diversion of about 9, 000kg of high explosives and 16, 420 pieces of detonators for illegal use.

Mongonu made the startling revelation at a meeting with local manufacturers of fertilizers just as he read the riot act to two fertilizer companies, Notore Petrochemical and Indorama Eleme Petrochemical companies for allegedly shortchanging Nigerians by causing Fertilizer shortages, through the illegal exportation of the product outside the country.

Throwing more light on the explosives and detonators in Abuja, a visibly worried NSA said, “The major actors, including the store man of a major explosives distribution company in Nigeria, an accomplice and five (5) security operatives have been arrested and handed over to appropriate authorities”.

“Right now, investigations are being conducted and I can assure you that they are deeply culpable and necessary actions will be taken on conclusion of investigation.

“Let me also reiterate that any individual or company that operates outside the confines of legitimacy or illegality will have itself to blame. We also want to add that the government of the day will not want to listen to any influence peddler in the society on behalf of any company that decides to sabotage National Security”.

On the fertilizer scam, the NSA said, “Nigerians should recall the discovery that improvised explosive devices (IED) being employed by terrorists for their bombing campaigns were developed mainly from certain grades of fertilizers with particular reference to some nitrate based types including Urea Nitrate (synthesized from Urea).

“Accordingly, it was discovered that the indiscriminate importation of these items by all and sundry resulted into lack of control and it eased their availability to mischievous elements for use to perpetrate insecurity. This indiscriminate importation further reduced the prospects for the local manufacture of these materials and by extension, the loss of foreign exchange to avoidable imports. This ultimately culminated into the ban on importation of fertilizers to the country”.

“In keeping with the commitment of the federal government to boosting national economy, Notore Petrochemical and Indorama Eleme Petrochemical were licensed as the sole manufacturers of Urea blend of fertilizers in Nigeria. Furthermore, the office of the NSA in collaboration with federal ministry of agriculture and rural development facilitated necessary importation of raw materials and also secured distribution networks’.

“This move was aimed at solving the national security problem on one hand by easing control of the items and on the other hand, boosting economy by encouraging local production”.

“The cumulative annual production of the two companies is estimated at 2. 05 million metric tonnes, while Nigeria’s estimated consumption rate is 1.1million metric tonnes, which is 53 per cent of production. Accordingly, the companies have the opportunity to cumulatively export about 47 per cent of their production”.

“However, this office has observed with total dismay some unpatriotic act and abuse of goodwill of government. Reports of activities of these companies have indicated that about 71 per cent of the 2. 05 million metric tonnes cumulative annual production is being exported to the detriment of our national economy. This has resulted in a spike in the price of urea-based fertilizers in Nigeria with obvious implications on food security in the country”.

“In view of the forgoing, I wish to categorically state that government will continue to adhere to the rule of law. However, it must be noted that the rule of law is not akin to anarchy”.

“Accordingly, this office (ONSA) will not hesitate to close and withdraw the operating license of any company that exports products without first meeting local consumption. This office and the ministry will work to put in place, measures to access production and determine exportable quantity by the respective companies”.

Continuing, General Mongonu said, “I must say at this point that the goodwill showed by the government of this country should not be taken for granted. The fact that we are in a difficult time and complicated situation in our economy and security does not mean that companies and individuals with vested interest will take the goodwill of this country for granted”.

“The President (Buhari) came to power with specific mandate which is clear to all Nigerians and indeed the international community. We will view with very serious consequences, any company that falls out of line and behave in a manner that will bring to its knee, the economy of this country and indeed the security of this country”.

“We will not hesitate act and it is an action that will be taken with immediate effect. It is important to for us to also know that all farmers are suffering in all the communities throughout the country” he concluded.

Among those present at the meeting was the minister of state for Agriculture, Senator Hieneken Lokpobiri, Mr. Appolo Goma, Chief Operating Officer, Indorama Petrochemical Company and Mr. Oscar Okpe of Notoro Petrochemical Company.

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  4. SourceVanguard

​Niger Delta Avengers: ‘Operation Delta Safe’ Boasts Adequate Capacity To Flush Out Militants

‘Operation Delta Safe,’ the joint military force deployed to the Niger Delta, on Wednesday reacted to threats from the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA)  who claim that they will declare a Niger Delta Republic on August 1.The NDA had also said that it was prepared to take on the Nigerian military.In what appeared to be a reaction to the threats posed by the claims, the military said that it was adequately prepared to deal with the renewed violence by militants in the region.

Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie, Commander of the operation, said during a press conference that the military has to capacity to flush out militants but were compelled to respect the dialogue option adopted by the federal government.

It will be recalled that the Defence Headquarters had scaled down the military option and declared a ceasefire in order to pave way for dialogue with the militants.

A few days ago, President Muhamadu Buhari told the outgoing German Ambassador that the federal government was in talks with the Niger Delta militants.

Rear Admiral Okojie who said that the operation enjoyed the support of the military top brass and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed forces and has been effectively curtailing collateral damage to oil infrastructure in the region.

He urged the media to be objective and professional in reporting the security challenges in the Niger Delta region, as the military will continue to keep its mandate of providing a safe environment for economic prosperity.

“We have seen reports emanating from faceless sources that tend to compromise national security in the mainstream media and want to restate our commitment to the mandate given to Operation Delta Safe,” he said, noting that the mandate does not include engagement in propaganda with anyone.

Affirming that the territorial integrity of Nigeria is “sacrosanct,” he implored the media to rise to the occasion and subject their security related stories to the dictates of their professional ethics.

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  • Source: SaharaReporters