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No Reprisal Attacks in Delta Community After Killing of Troops — Says Defence Headquarters

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Nigerian Defence Headquarters on Monday debunked the claims that the military embarked on reprisal attacks in the Okuama Community of Delta State after the murder of the troops who were on a peace mission in the troubled area, explaining that the community was deserted even before troops arrived at the scene.

Infoexpert24 reports that this was contained in a statement made available to defence Correspondents in Abuja by Director Media Operations, DMO, Major General Edward Buba

It warned, “Those involved in peddling this misinformation, disinformation, and fake news that the military had embarked on reprisal attacks on the community following the incident should desist from further dishonouring our fallen heroes.

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According to it, “Rather, it depends on the community leaders, elders, and even the people of Delta State to assist in the investigation to identify the perpetrators of the dastardly act so that they can be held accountable for their actions.

“The military assures that there will be measured responses and injurious consequences for the perpetrators of these dastardly acts.

“Nevertheless, the armed forces, being a disciplined force that complies with rules of engagement, laws of armed conflict, and respect for human rights, would be tempered by these provisions. We would not be led by emotions but by the rule of law.

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The statement reads in part, ‘It is no longer news that troops of Operation Delta SAFE suffered a setback that resulted in the loss of lives of gallant personnel of the armed forces.

“These personnel were on a peace mission to the Okuama Community of Delta State when members of the community launched unprovoked attacks on the unsuspecting troops, killing the Commanding Officer of the 181 Amphibious Battalion, 2 Majors, 1 Capt, and 12 personnel of the battalion.

“The senseless and barbaric killings of these men are a tragedy. They were killed in a dehumanised and unspeakable manner.

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“Accordingly, on behalf of the CDS, Gen. CG Musa, the armed forces mourn the loss of these gallant troops who made the supreme sacrifice for the nation.

“We consoled their families, colleagues, and loved ones over the tragic incident. They have died trying to restore peace to the nation.

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“It is necessary to reiterate that both the Constitution and the Armed Forces Act saddle the military with the responsibility of protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our nation.

“Accordingly, the armed forces consist of citizens from every nook and cranny of the nation who have taken an oath of allegiance to put themselves in harm’s way to defend our great country.

“Given the ongoing security situation across the country, troops are deployed on internal security operations in about all the states of the federation.

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“Troops intervene to de-escalate and contain tense situations. However, the ugly incident in Okuama Community in Delta State is indicative of the dangers our gallant troops experience in order to secure our nation.

“The military assures that there will be measured responses and injurious consequences for the perpetrators of
these dastardly acts.

“Nevertheless, the armed forces, being a disciplined force that complies with rules of engagement, laws of armed conflict, and respect for human rights, would be tempered by these provisions. We would not be led by emotions but by the rule of law.

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’It is against this background that the military debunks all claims that the military embarked on reprisal attacks in Okuama Community after the incident. The community was deserted even before troops arrived at the scene.

“Importantly, those involved in peddling this misinformation, disinformation, and fake news that the military had embarked on reprisal attacks on the community following the incident should desist from further dishonouring our fallen heroes.

“Rather, it depends on the community leaders, elders, and even the people of Delta State to assist in the investigation to identify the perpetrators of the dastardly act so that they can be held accountable for their actions.

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“Furthermore, it must be noted that the dispute between the Okuama and Okoloba communities remains unresolved. It therefore implies that there could be untoward activities not initiated by the military.

“Overall, there is no doubt that this is an extremely sad development and untoward activity by members of the Okuama community against troops that were there to protect them.

“We urge the public to resist the temptation of allowing any videos of the incident involving the killed personnel to go viral. Their loved ones are still alive, even though they have died protecting our country and its citizens.

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‘It would be dishonourable to the fallen heroes to allow such ugly videos of their demise to go viral. Above all, as the military mourns, it remains ever-determined to ensure the safety and security of citizens across the country.

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No Reprisal Attacks in Delta Community After Killing of Troops — Says Defence Headquarters