Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Nigeria: Military in Biggest Peacetime Deployment - Investigation

Daily Trust
20 September 2011

Jos, Katsina, Bauchi, Bello, Lafia, Abuja, Minna, Lagos, Kano, Addo Ekiti —

Nigeria is witnessing the biggest military deployment in peacetime as soldiers are called upon to take over the role of maintaining internal security from the police, especially in areas where civil strife and violent crimes at times spiral out of control.

"There are literally no soldiers in the barracks," a senior military officer who sought anonymity told Daily Trust in the course of investigating the story.

"There is an unprecedented deployment of troops in not less than 10 states to contain sectarian violence in the North, militancy in the Niger Delta and kidnappings in the Southeast," the officer said, adding this deployment is the biggest since the Civil War in 1967-70.

Daily Trust investigation showed that troops are at the moment permanently deployed in Borno, Kaduna, Plateau, Bauchi, on the borders between Benue and Nasarawa and between Benue and Taraba states to contain religious and/or ethnic violence.

Soldiers are also in the Niger Delta for at least the past 15 years battling militancy which saw Nigeria's oil export drop to its lowest level until the late President Umaru Musa Yar'adua's amnesty programme helped restored some semblance of normalcy.

Soldiers are also dispatched to many states in the Southeast where kidnapping for ransom is a flourishing business.

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