Nigerian troops

Agency Report

The Nigerian Army says it will extend its military exercise, tagged “Operation Harbin Kunama 2’’, to troubled Southern Kaduna, parts of Plateau and Kano states, to maintain peace and stability in the areas.

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The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, who made this known to State House correspondents after a security meeting in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said the exercise would cover only the Falgore forest in Kano state.

According to him, Special Forces of the Nigeria Army and other security agencies had already been deployed to Southern Kaduna to restore peace and order.

“Our troops are already in Southern Kaduna, we have our special forces operating there along with all other security agencies.

“And we intend also to have an exercise very soon to cover some part of Plateau and indeed part of Kano state.

“So, it is part of our strategy also this year to continue all the exercises we have had before.

“We will be having exercise `Harbin Kunama 2’ which will come into Southern Kaduna (state), part of Plateau and part of Kano state, around Falgore forest.

“And then, we have further exercise, Crocodile Smile in the Niger Delta, and indeed exercise Python Dance.

“But, we are going rename that exercise Python Dance for the South East, this year,’’ he said.

Also speaking on the outcome of the meeting, the Minister of Defence, retired Brig.-Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali, said major security issues were discussed and conclusions were reached on almost all the ongoing crises across the country.

“The Southern Kaduna, the Niger Delta issues and other major crisis areas were discussed and resolutions were passed,’’ he added.

On the Gambian political impasse, the minister disclosed that the issue was being handled by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

“That is not a national issue and I believe the ECOWAS are working on that, we have not reached any conclusion on that.’’