Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Jos - Will Military Intervention Stop Bloodshed?

This article is worth a read

Daily Trust
17 September 2011

Andrew Agbese


Jos — On Monday September 12th, 2011, a day after multiple explosions rocked the West of Mines area of Jos, President Goodluck Jonathan gave an order for the military to take full charge of security operations in Plateau State and to take all necessary measures that will stop the ethno-religious violence in the state. Since 2008, when violence erupted over the Jos North local government elections, no less than 2,000 lives have been lost in one event of violence or the other.

Last Sunday's explosion, which left no casualty in its trail, however saw the federal government coming out with a very drastic action, different from the mere assurances of the past about "brining the perpetrators to book."

Military sources who spoke with Weekly Trust suggest that with the announcement, all the security outfits operating in the state like the Army, Air Force, State Security Service (SSS) and the Police would now be under military authorities, which will take absolute control of security there. Many people have welcomed the order, including the Plateau State government, but still wonder if the approach is what is needed to bring lasting peace.

The military has been in Jos since 2008 when the first in the series of the recent crises broke out. But at that time it was under the command of the General Officer Commanding the 3rd Armored Division in Rukuba, Major-General Saleh Maina, who was given orders to take over the state's internal security.

Maina had then explained that this meant everything about the internal security of the state will be under his command, as he said even the police would have to excuse themselves from certain duties, as the operation was going to be entirely a military affair. There was a public outcry against this and a coalition of civil society organizations led by Dr. Tor Iorappu opposed the arrangement saying no law permits the military to take over the internal security of state when there was no war, in the manner the then President Musa Yar'Adua had ordered the military to do.

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