Southern Kaduna Attacks: Nigerian Army Launches Operation Harbin Kunama to flush out bandits
In a bid to take a sweep at the bandits and attackers responsible for Southern Kaduna killings , the Nigerian Army on Wednesday operation launched Harbin Kunama ll at Kafanchan ,Jema’a Local Government Area .
Speaking the official launcing ceremony at Kafanchan today ,the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. General Tukur Buratai said there would no longer be any hiding place for armed bandits in the state.
He explained , “The operation is essentially on a fictitious scenario in the Republic of Kakaki .This exercise is a remarkable experience to what we had last year. I have seen confidence in all the officials that have briefed us and I have seen improvements in their understanding of the environment.”
Buratai , who noted that Human Rights is key to the operations,stressed that the rules of engagement is Human Rights compliant.
According to him , the aim of the exercise is to ensure that Southern Kaduna area is safe.
He further said , ” I know it has been in the press and generated a lot interest. But we are determined to shoulder the major responsibility of keeping the peace always and it is better to do this job than to leave it until it goes out of hand. God forbid.
“We would continue to coordinate our activities to ensure that we get our communities to understand each other and then we provide the needed security and the right atmosphere for economic and social activities to thrive. ”
In chat with journalists after inspecting the military base at Kafanchan , Kaduna Governor , Malam Nasir El-Rufai, who commended the effort of the Chief of Army Staff to launch the operation Harbin Kunama , said , ” This operation is very important because, this problem in Southern Kaduna has attracted high levels of attention not just, because of the gravity of the situation here, I think there are more serious crisis in other parts of the country, but this one has been given religious and ethnic coloration.
“The Chief of Defense Staff has visited here to have first hand appreciation of the situation, the Chief of Army Staff has visited two or three times, the Inspector General of Police personally came here, so I think there is a very fair appreciation of the situation as well as the effort by some people to make it look more serious than it is.
” Am happy that with this operation we are confident that the bandits that have been attacking our farmers will finally be neutralized. The time for raining season to enable our farmers to go back to farm for this we are very grateful to the Nigerian Army forces.
“This problem that we are confident will be solved with this first step, is a problem that has been going on for 37 years. So don’t make any mistakes about it, it is unlike any other communal clash in Nigeria. There is non that has lasted this longer, it is not like the problem in Jos which is barely 10 years old, this is 37 years old and it requires both tactical and strategic response to get rid of.
“The Kaduna State Government has adopted a three step plan to end this crisis. The first step is what you are seeing today, to stabilize the place by ensuring that the presence of security to protect lifes and property and then to target areas of hideouts for the bandits and flush them out. Our hope is that with the completion of these operations we will relax the curfew.
” The second step which we have started concurrently is to arrest perpetrators of these crimes, whether it is those that write hate speech or go to churches and Mosques and encourage others to kill or supply arms to young people and drug them so that they can kill, we have been monitoring them and we will be arresting and prosecuting them.
“This is what has been missing in this part of the state in the last 37 years, people have gotten away with murder and that has inculcated a culture of impunity, by God’s grace we are going to change that because some people would be prosecuted for what is happening here.
” Everyone one that we lay our hands on would be brought before a judge. “