The Nigerian Army has confirmed that bandits were fleeing from Zamfara to other states, necessitating the re-organisation of military operations to tackle the menace.
The exercise Harbin Kunama III has been being organized to tackle banditry across the nation, with a major focus on the northwestern region.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, said at the Army Headquarters in Abuja that bandits are fleeing from Zamfara State following ceaseless superior firearms from troops.
The movement of bandits, he said was responsible for recent attacks in Katsina and Sokoto states.
Buratai also said that the bandits had migrated from their epicentre to Kaduna, Kano and Niger states following the success being recorded by troops after the launch of its special operation, tagged: “Operation Harbin Kunama III.”
The Nigerian Army would be conducting the special exercise in the affected areas to rid them of the bandits and other criminal elements.
Tukur Buratai’s statement
SPEECH BY CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF LT GEN TY BURATAI NAM OMM (BR) psc (+) ndc (BD) FCMH FNHAM BA (Hons) MA MPhil ON THE OCCASION OF THE PRESS BRIEFING ON RE-ORGANIZATION OF EXERCISE HARBIN KUNAMA III HELD AT ARMY HEADQUARTERS CONFERENCE ROOM ON 3 MAY 2019
“I am delighted to be in your midst today for the Press Briefing on the re-organization of Exercise HARBIN KUNAMA III. You may recall that Exercise HARBIN KUNAMA III was launched on 1 April 2019 after the Chief of Army staff’s Press Conference in Gusau, Zamfara State on 31 March 2019. I am pleased to inform you all that the exercise has so far achieved tremendous successes within the past one month. Several bandits and criminal elements have been captured and killed while some camps, hideouts and equipment of the criminals have been destroyed.
“It has however been observed that there appear to be a resurgence of their activities in other contiguous States to Zamfara. This is occasioned by fleeing bandits that have resorted to attacking soft targets while relocating to other safe havens within contiguous States of KATSINA and SOKOTO. Current threat assessments revealed the migration of the bandits from their epicenter to other areas in KADUNA, KANO and NIGER States.
It is against this backdrop that Exercise HARBIN KUNAMA III is being re-organized and its mandate expanded to effectively ensure the complete defeat of the fleeing bandits. This is to restore public confidence and enhance safety while also ensuring socio-economic activities continue without fear or intimidation.