The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) said Friday that the unfortunate bombing of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) last January in Rann, Borno state, where hundreds of IDPs were killed by the airstrike of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) was due to lack of appropriate marking of the area.
Speaking on the report at a joint press briefing of the Armed Forces in Abuja, Director of Defence Information (DDI), Maj. Gen John Enenche said the location where the unfortunate incidence happened was not reflected in the operational map as a humanitarian base.
Enenche noted people were not expected to amass at that location, noting that this method was being used by the Boko Haram terrorists to form before attacking innocent civilians.
According to him, when mass movement was noticed through aerial satellite observation, it was taken for Boko Haram terrorists activity, which needed to be neutralised with speed.
To avert future occurrences, Enenche said: “All locations where humanitarian activities take place in the Theatre of operation should be marked appropriately for ground and aerial identification in line with international best practices.
“The geographical and spatial coordinates of all areas of humanitarian activities within the Theatre, should be provided to the Theatre Command Headquarters.
“There should be timely and mandatory exchange of information between stakeholders, for all activities in the Theatre of operation.”
On the clash between the Nigerian Army personnel and Police, which occurred on 11 April, in Damaturu that led to the death of one soldier and three policemen, with seven other policemen injured, Enenche said was caused by an avoidable misunderstanding from exchange of words and later physical confrontation.
The defence spokesman noted that the board of inquiry set up recommended that, “Strict centralised operational and administrative control should be exercised, on all security agencies serving under Operation Lafiya Dole.
“Offenders in the incident are to be sanctioned appropriately, to serve as deterrence to other personnel in the Theatre of operation. The outcome of all disciplinary action, should be communicated to other parties.”
Similarly, the clash between Nigerian Navy and Police personnel in Calabar, Enenche said the cause of the fight was caused by a misunderstanding between naval rating and a policeman where 2 policemen and one naval personnel were killed during the clash.
He said the panel setup recommended that, “The Nigerian Navy and Police, should institute further investigation to identify erring personnel for sanctions.
“Security services should periodically remind their personnel to always comply with standing regulations, at all times and place
Enenche added that going by the ethics and best military practices, all the reports were harnessed by a final Board at the Defence Headquarters, to have a clear picture of the incidents.
He, however urged all Nigerians and the general public to continue support the Armed Forces of Nigeria in tackling security challenges, while urging the troops to remain committed in carrying out its roles professionally.