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July 24, 2024

Plateau: Soldiers accused of complicity in alleged genocide against Bokkos residents


The Bokkos Cultural Development Council, BCDC, Vanguard, says about 30 people have so far been killed by suspected Fulani militias in Kopnanle and Mandung-Mushu villages and and other parts of Bokkos local Government Area of Plateau State.

The group, in a statement issued by the chairman, Barr. Farmasum Fuddang, alleged that soldiers of the Nigerian Army are involved in an ongoing genocide against the indigenous people of Bokkos.

He explained, “As of now, close to 30 of our members have been killed — around ten in Kopnanle village in Mangu Local Government which borders Bokkos, ten in Mandung-Mushu in Bokkos Local Government and several others in different surrounding communities.

“The victims include a 12-month old girl — Peret Sylvanus – who was brutally killed by the same bullet that killer her mother Mwanret on April 12. Witnesses report that the bullet pierced through Mrs Sylvanus’ stomach and hit little Peret who was strapped to her back, killing both of them instantly.”

Fuddang noted that reports indicate that instead of protecting the vulnerable populations that have been under attack since the evening of April 12, soldiers attached to the Special Task Force Operation Safe Haven are currently protecting large herds of cattle believed to be owned by Fulani nomads implicated in the attacks.

“Of greater concern is the alarming revelation that some of the casualties were inflicted by the very soldiers entrusted with protecting our people,” he alleged.

According to him, the Fulani militants initiated a series of attacks, starting from Kopnanle village in the Mangun district, where 6 residents were killed.

The assailants also targeted Mandung-Mushu village, in Tangur District, where they killed 10 people, before descending on Kopyal village the following day, resulting in 5 fatalities.

He lamented that despite the military being adequately informed of the presence of the attackers, no action was taken.

“Their (attackers) unchallenged progression through Manduk and Njukudel where they injured one person and later through Mandarken to Nghahtigut in Mbar where they killed two persons, before proceeding to their staging ground in Josho, Daffo district, raises questions about the security efficacy,” the Bokkos leader noted.

He explained that the BCDC Vanguard had previously raised the alarm regarding the victimization and wrongful labeling of their community by security agencies, fueled by a defamatory memo purportedly from the Department of State Services, DSS, with reference number S.112/3176 dated April 8, 2024 and filed on the same date to the Plateau State Commissioner of Police.

“Reports indicate that despite the presence of security forces, including soldiers, the attacks were not halted, and in some instances, exacerbated by their actions.

“Eyewitness testimonies recount a distressing scenario in Kopyal village where civilian defenders, outnumbered and outgunned, valiantly attempted to repel the assailants.

“Tragically, soldiers intervened, not to assist the defense efforts, but to inflict further harm, resulting in the deaths of at least four volunteers.”

He said that the “brazen genocidal attacks”, occurring less than one mile to military installations, raise grave concerns of collusion and complicity.

He further explained that hours prior to the attacks on April 12, in Mandung-Mushu and Kopnanle villages, residents reported that authorities of the Special Task Force Operation Safe Haven ordered the arrest of a community leader from the attacked Tangur district, accusing him and his subjects of rustling cattle belonging to Fulani herders.

“We are compelled to perceive these series of events as clear signs the security agencies had colluded with the Fulani to attack our people,” he alleged.

The BCDC Vanguard, he said condemned the actions in the strongest terms and demands justice for the victims and their families, describing the atrocities not only as an assault on innocent civilians but as a blatant declaration of war against the people of Bokkos.

“We demand immediate explanations within 48 hours and the withdrawal of soldiers from our towns and cities since their presence cannot guarantee our safety.

“As representatives of the more than 500,000 residents in Bokkos, we are aware and stand with the general call for the replacement of soldiers with policemen,” Fuddang stressed.





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