Tag Archives: Militant

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


‘Enemy attack’ in Somalia leaves 1 US soldier dead, 4 wounded

Islamist group.jpg
© AP/File The Islamic militant group, al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the attack friday that killed one U.S. service member and wounded four others.
A U.S. special operations soldier was killed and four U.S. service members were wounded Friday in an “enemy attack” in Somalia, the U.S. military said.

It was the first public announcement of a U.S. military combat death on the African continent since four U.S. service members were killed in a militant ambush in Niger in October.

President Donald Trump shared his condolences in a Twitter message Friday evening.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the families of our serviceman who was killed and his fellow servicemen who were wounded in Somalia,” Trump tweeted. “They are truly all HEROES.”

U.S. troops with Somali and Kenyan forces came under mortar and small-arms fire in Jubaland, Somalia around 2:45 p.m. local time, U.S. Africa Command said in a statement.

The joint-coalition forces had been conducting an operation against al-Shabab militants about 217 miles southwest of the capital, Mogadishu, when the attack occurred, the statement said. The operation aimed to drive out the Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab from contested areas.

Three of the four U.S. service members were transferred for medical treatment while the fourth received medical care on the spot, the Washington Post reported.

Al-Shabab claimed credit for the attack, the SITE Intelligence Group said in a statement Friday.

The U.S. has about 1,000 special operations personnel in Africa. The last killing of a U.S. service member in Somalia was in May 2017 during an operation about 40 miles west of Mogadishu, Stars and Stripes reported.

Trump approved expanded military operations against al-Shabab in early 2017, leading to an increase in U.S. military personnel to more than 500 and the launch of dozens of drone strikes.

Al-Shabab, linked to al Qaeda, seeks to establish an Islamic state in Somalia. It was pushed out of Mogadishu in recent years but continues to control rural areas in the south and central regions.

Late last year U.S. drone strikes also began targeting a small presence of fighters linked to the Islamic State group in Somalia’s north.

Somali officials have said civilians have been killed in more than one joint U.S. military operation with Somali forces. Earlier Friday, the U.S. Africa Command issued a statement in response to allegations that civilians had been killed in a May 9 operation, saying a “thorough review” found the allegations to be “not credible.”

The October attack in Niger raised questions in Washington about the U.S. military presence across Africa as the Trump administration focuses counterterror efforts on a range of groups linked to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

A Pentagon investigation into the Niger attack, parts of which were made public last month, found multiple failures but none that directly caused the ambush by Islamic State group-linked fighters.

The investigation has already triggered changes in the way military activities are carried out in Niger and elsewhere in Africa, including giving teams the option to use heavily armored vehicles and beefed-up firepower.

Source: Fox News

Dozens killed in Nigeria twin bomb attack

Police in Nigeria say that at least 24 people have died following twin bomb attacks in a mosque in the north-eastern town of Mubi, our colleague has tweeted:

The blasts happened when Muslims were preparing for afternoon prayers.

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​Reinstate Boroh or face fresh attacks on oil facilities, Militant groups tell Federal Government

Ten Niger Delta militant groups, including the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers, have given the federal government four weeks to reinstate the sacked Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, Retired General Paul Boroh.
The militants warned that they would unleash fresh attacks on oil installations and facilities across the Niger Delta region if the sack of Boroh was not reversed.

The Leader of the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers RNDA, General Johnmark Ezonbi, said in statement on Monday that that it had become obvious that the federal government was toiling with the destiny of the region.

“The federal government will hear from us at the expiration of the four weeks ultimatum as no single stone will be left un-turned as the administration preferred to go back to the recession period where Boroh played a major role by visiting the creeks with other stakeholders to prevail on the “boys “to drop their arms”and embrace peace.

Boroh, they said, had succeeded in setting a template for the smooth operation of the amnesty office.

The group said that all its striking units across the Niger Delta have been put on red alert to “commence operation zero oil to cripple the economy’’.

They said they would embark on a well- coordinated destruction of all major delivery oil pipelines after the expiration of the four weeks ultimatum without looking back.

                Paul Boroh
“I want to warn that any intruder into our planned action in four weeks time if the federal government fails to reinstate General Paul Boroh will be severely dealt with without mercy because our attack will make security agencies in the creek very small “.

“We are fully ready to take on anybody as we have the instrumental of warfare that will make the biggest military might to marvel at our coordinated attacks. We are ready to dirty our rivers and creek with our oil, it is better we spill it than allow government use it to develop other parts of the country.

They stated that Boroh had made concerted efforts to put the Amnesty programme back on track with the regular training of ex militants and payment of monthly stipends without delay.

Professor Charles Dokubo was last appointed to replace Boroh.

Source: vanguardngr.com

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​We’ve video, pictures of soldiers engaged in oil bunkering —Avengers

WARRI —Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, yesterday, alleged that soldiers were the merchants of oil bunkering in the Niger Delta and that they have video and pictorial evidence of their involvement in crude oil theft and records, including how much they collect and make per day from illegal oil bunkering.
The group, in a statement denying security reports linking its forces to the killing of troops in Nembe, Bayelsa State, said it was surprised at the desperation of the military to always connect NDA to crimes in Southern Nigeria.

“It is a shame that Operations Delta Safe is still employing the old habit of deliberately dining and wining with fake intelligence from political thugs, political paymasters and enemies of the Niger Delta to perpetuate their continuous funding and relevance by leveraging on the hunger in the land,” spokesperson of the militant group, self-styled Brig Gen Mudoch Agbinibo, said.

The NDA had ceased hostilities, though unannounced, weekend, in deference to the plea by Niger Delta monarchs, leaders and stakeholders to all militant groups in the region to sheathe their swords.

It said, “One question for the Commander of Operation Delta Safe, is, who are the people perpetuating the ongoing illegal oil bunkering in the Niger Delta at the moment? We have both video and still photographs of the serious involvement of your troops in the pervasive crude oil thefts. We have records of how much profit you collect and make per day from these atrocities in the Niger Delta.

“To set the records straight, we cannot come after your dane guns and ammunition. Since the start of ‘Operation Red Economy,’ our forces have not fired one shot until we have achieved this great success of crippling crude oil productions in the Niger Delta to about 800,000 barrels per day.

“Those gang members paraded as killers of troops of ODS are well known followers of Mr. Africa Ukparasai and Mr Timipre Silva, who were armed by the All Progressives Congress, APC, during the governorship election  in Bayelsa State.

“If your forces and formations come under attack by notorious elements of your own political collaborators and calculations, you should accept it as a friendly fire (from your own dubious creations getting loosed and fighting back to protect their territories and bellies) and enjoy it while it last. Excuse the NDA from your “Pig and Mud squabbles.

“Yesterday was Arepo in Ogun  State, today is Nembe in Bayelsa State, which is the next state you want to involve the NDA in this your bread and butter security conspiracies and collaborations ?”

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  4. Source: Vanguard

​IYC accuses N-Delta leaders of linking Jonathan with Avengers

Sapele—The umbrella body of Ijaw youths, Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide, has condemned what it termed, “the desperation by some politicians of Niger Delta extraction to rope former President Goodluck Jonathan into the formation of the Niger Delta Avengers.”

The group, in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Eric Omare, said: “The desperation came to the pinnacle with the media report that intelligence report indicated that Jonathan was one of the persons behind the formation of the NDA.

“The characters behind this desperate plan are politicians of Niger Delta extraction who are in the current government and do not want a peaceful resolution of the renewed militancy in the region.

“They prefer a military option that would result in the killing of innocent Niger Deltans. These frivolous accusations against former President Jonathan started after he visited President Buhari few weeks ago.

“Secondly, they don’t also want Jonathan’s intervention to resolve the crisis for obvious political reasons. So, this is the reason why they have orchestrated all sorts of lies to drag Jonathan into the formation of NDA. It is deliberate and we are sure the top hierarchy of government knows this fact,” he said, advising the former President to explore legal options to bring the allegation to a halt.

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  4. Source: Vanguard

​N-Delta leaders defuse tension with new initiative

THERE was comprehensible dissonance among militant groups in the Niger Delta beforelast Friday’s eventful consultative meeting of Niger Delta leaders in Warri, Delta State, where a pan-Niger Delta platform of all ethnic nationalities was established to dialogue and negotiate with the Federal Government.

Former Federal Commissioner for Information and Ijaw national leader, Chief Edwin Clark, convened the one-day consultative stakeholders’ meeting of monarchs, elders and leaders of Niger Delta coastal states, which intervention has reduced the tension in Niger Delta. .

Barely 24 hours after the meeting, which called on militants to sheath their swords, the most deadly group in the region, Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, unpredictably ceased hostilities in deference to the leaders.

Three other militant groups, the Reformed Egbesu Fraternities, Niger-Delta Revolutionary Crusaders, NDRC, Asawana Deadly Force of Niger Delta, ADFNG and  Niger Delta Development Movement, NDDM, agreed with Avengers and ceased hostilities.

However, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, which was already dialoguing with the federal government and had made some inroads despite the ill feelings about the organization and its role, totally rejected the involvement of the leaders that gathered in Warri in such an undertaking.

Another militant group, the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, NDGJM, which blew up a pipeline belonging to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, 24 hours before the meeting of last Friday, has also teamed up with MEND in rejecting the outcome of Warri meeting.

Avengers proffer reasons

While the Avengers’ spokesperson, self-styled Brig Gen Mudoch Agbinibo, said: “We are going to support any collective/negotiation team emerging from the Chief (Dr.) Papa Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, Niger Delta elders and genuine stakeholders’ conference to engage with the federal government of Nigeria.

“We promise to fight more for the Niger Delta, if this opportunity fails. Therefore, we will give our Niger Delta elders and genuine stakeholders that tacit support to the dialogue table with the government and the Multinational oil Corporations whenever the enabling environment prevails.”

NDA welcomed the involvement of representatives from the home countries of all multinational oil corporations and neutral international mediators “that will be focused on achieving the short, medium and long- term frameworks and objectives to de-escalating conflicts in the Niger Delta.”

Reformed Egbesu throws light

On its part, the Reformed Egbesu Fraternities, said: “We commend the convener, Chief Dr Edwin Clark and all the royal fathers, who participated in the meeting, which came at the most auspicious time. Most importantly, the pan Niger- Delta composition of the meeting cutting across all the ethnic nationalities is to say the least a step in the right direction.”

It said in a statement by “General” Tony Alagbakeriowei, GOC (Intelligent) and another: “We have been pressured and appealed to by the Niger Delta Coastal States stakeholders’ consultative meeting, convened by Chief Dr E K Clark and most importantly, the Niger Delta Dialogue Contact Group, led by HRM, King Alfred Diette-Spiff.

“Nigerians from all shades of opinion, elder statesmen, royal Majesties, elders, chiefs, members of parliament, bureaucrats, technocrats, diplomats, ministers, of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, key government functionaries amongst numerous others, pleaded that we come to the negotiation table, so we have to oblige,” he added.

MEND, Greenland counter

However, MEND stated unequivocally: “The attention of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has been drawn to a meeting of the Niger Delta Coastal States held in Warri, Delta State on Friday, August 19, 2016. The meeting was jointly convened by elder statesman Chief Edwin Clark and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State.”

Its spokesperson, Jomo Gbomo, asserted: “MEND hereby advises the Federal Government to ignore the communiqué, released at the end of the meeting for the following reasons: The communique failed to categorically condemn the criminal and treasonable activities of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA). This was principally because notable promoter of the meeting was recently named by the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) as a major supporter of the NDA.

“None of the persons who attended the stakeholders’ meeting convened by Chief Clark and Governor Okowa have (sic) the capacity to persuade the people of the Niger Delta region to support the current efforts of the Buhari Administration to bring peace and development to the region.”

The NDGJM, on Monday, threw its weight behind MEND, saying: “So much as we have tried not respond or just let things pass, we find it really difficult to ignore the charade that was recently convened in Warri, Delta State, by the Ijaw ethnic national leader, Pa E.K. Clark and the Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as the conference of Niger Delta stakeholders.

“He does not have the mandate to convene a meeting or speak on behalf of the Niger-Delta. The Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate is not in support of that so-called stakeholders’ meeting, which by the way was populated by the same gang of breast-pocket politicians, who in the six to seven years of Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency, ruled with him, looted the nation and raped the Niger Delta,” its leader, “Gen” Ado Agbalaja said.

How Clark lampooned militants

Apparently, unknown to the MEND, one of the first things that Clark did at the Warri meeting was to berate the NDA and other militant groups for blowing up pipelines in the region, insisting that it was a heinous offence.

. MEND does not exist b — Ayemi Botu

Former national chair of the Traditional Rulers of Oil Mineral Producing Communities of Nigeria, TROMPCON, HRM Pere Charles Ayemi-Botu, aka Lion of the Niger, who attended the meeting, told

Vanguard in Warri: “MEND does not exist anymore, it used to exist between 2005-2009, but when the late President Umaru Yar’Adua granted militants amnesty, it died.

“If anybody says he is representing MEND now, let him come out or is it Henry Okah and his brother, Charles, that are in prison that is MEND?

He said that fifth columnists were using MEND to set up Niger Delta for a kill and asked those using the faceless group in government to say all manner of things about Niger Delta leaders to desist.

His words: “I read MEND saying that Chief Clark had not condemned bombings of pipelines by militants, this is not true. He had criticized them on several occasions in the past. The truth is that we saw that something was going wrong and if the monarchs and leaders from the ethnic nationalities did not come together to address the problem, it will consume all of us. Our fear before the meeting was how the militants, who are our sons, will hear the plea of us, their fathers.”

“I thank God that the Avengers responded quickly to our call that they should stop bombing pipelines, which the meeting totally condemned. I, therefore, appeal to other militant groups to sheath their swords, We, their fathers are saying that we want peace in our region and to avoid ambiguousness, we have decided to set up a pan-Niger Delta platform to reach out to the federal government,” he said.

HRM Ayemi-Botu said it would be fatal for royal fathers and leaders to be alive and allow militants to overrun the region, adding: “That is really the reason we had to intervene to save the region from becoming a laughing stock.”

Intention and motive very clear — Ikponmwen

Former Provost Marshal of the Nigerian Army and South-South leader from Edo state, Brig General Idada Ikponmwen (retd.) told Vanguard on phone: “The list of people invited for the meeting was very exhaustive and it included all those, who have been involved in the struggle for a very long time.”

“Though, some of them did not attend, but the intention and motive of the meeting are very good and it was on the spot that delegates suggested that we come up with a pan-Niger Delta group. However, some of us have been saying it for the past 15 years that the coastal states of the South-South must form a regional group like Arewa, Afenifere.

Crucial thing is to provide good leadership

Ikponmwen stated that it would be wrong for the leaders of the region to remain silent when things were going wrong. He, however, said: “The militants are our children, they are our boys, we are their fathers, they cannot lead the region, we are supposed to give them direction and that is what their fathers have done by telling them to sheath their swords.”

He admitted that some things went wrong in the past, but there was no questioning the important position of Chief Clark in the region and it would be scandalous for militants to speak for the region, as if those that chose to tread the path of non-violence were senseless.

The former army officer said: “What is important now is that with the formation of a new pan Niger Delta group, the direction must be clear and focused. The leaders must provide a good leadership that will carry others along without which the ship will run aground. In fact, people are watching to see how the leaders are going to navigate the ship.”

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  4. Source: Vanguard

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