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HURIWA task COAS on new military strategy in South East

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Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has said the invasion by the military of South-East communities with many casualties is not working, and urged the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Farouk Yahaya,  to come up with new strategies to combat crimes in troubled geopolitical zones of the country, especially in the South East.    

However, HURIWA condemned the sporadic attacks by terrorists targeted at strategic national security assets and offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the South-East zone.

The civil rights Advocacy group described the killing of members of security forces by hoodlums as an intolerable crime against humanity, challenging operatives working within the intelligence community to arrest the real perpetrators of “this unchecked violence.”

National Coordinator HURIWA, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, said the change in strategy by the military is important, stressing that non-indigenous commanders deployed to the South-East are totally strange as such commanders have been high-handed in their approach.

The advocacy group requested that at least 75 per cent of those holding command positions in the South-East should be indigenous Igbos in order to properly manage the situation.

The group went further to condemn the fresh invasion by the military of the Obeagu Community in the Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State on Monday alleging that the troops shot sporadically and burnt some houses.

“This is not the first of such invasions of local South-East communities by troops. In November, troops from Headquarters 82 Division invaded the Amangu community in Abia State, causing havoc in the area. In September, troops also invaded the Orsu Local Government Area of Imo and Orsumugho, border communities in the Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra, killing three residents.

“In all the invasions, the military has consistently claimed it is on the trail of members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Eastern Security Network (ESN).”

“Military’s invasion of South-East communities is not working especially because it is believed that commanders sent to the zone have the preconceived idea that they are in the South-East for purely kinetic actions and when communities are attacked by all sorts of terrorists, the military is found wanting.

“According to the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, security agencies have killed 1,400 residents and razed 1,000 homes in 100 Igbo communities in the last 14 months.

“The COAS, Lt. Gen. Faruk Yahaya should change strategies, post indigenous commanders to the South-East or at least let 75 percent of those who hold command positions in the South-East not be persons totally strange to those environments and when GOC fails like it is now, those who are non-performing should be swiftly replaced or else the wrong impression that the Army is against Igbos may grow and become acceptable.”

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