- Lieutenant-General Buratai says destroying landmines in the vast Sambisa forest cannot be carried out alone by Nigeria
- Buratai says UN, NGOs and other agencies need to help Nigeria with the job because it does not have the huge finances required to get the job done
- The Nigerian Army chief says the country has acquired more equipment to demine Sambisa but can only do key areas alone
Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai has called on the United Nations and other relevant agencies to help with deliberate effort to remove landmines from the Sambisa after the take-over of the territory from terrorists.
Vanguard reports that Buratai made the call in an interview in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, on Sunday, April 2. Buratai said this is because such project requires much resources and effort that the country alone may not be able to finance. He said:
“The army is currently doing a limited demining of routes in the forest to enable troops to move around for operations. “Strictly speaking, we have not started demining the sambisa forest.
“The areas we are concentrating on are where we are working, where our troops will have to move from one point to the other. “These are the efforts we are making to create safe lanes for troops to pass from one point to the other. “But, for our deliberate demining efforts, it will require much, much resources, much more effort, and we may even request for the civilian demining support in that regard.
“Demining is not restricted to the military only, there are several organisations that have been doing this, the UN is one and there are other NGOs that are involved which actually work under the umbrella of the UN. “So, as comprehensive efforts, these bodies need to be invited to support what the military is doing right now in a limited capacity in that regard.” Buratai also revealed that the Nigerian Army had already acquired more equipment for the demining to make the areas where troops operate in the Sambisa safe for them.
onlinenigeria.com gathered that Buratai also said on Sunday that the army had identified one key location of perpetrators of bombings and had destroyed it. Buratai said that the “key area’’ was cleared by troops in conjunction with other security agencies. According to him, this has reduced the incidents of bombings in the last couple of days in Borno, particularly Maiduguri.
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