Nigeria -House of Representatives to probe NAF air strike on IDP camp

Punch

The House of Representatives on Wednesday said it would investigate the accidental bombing of an Internally Displaced Persons camp in Borno by the Nigerian Air force.

This followed unanimous adoption of a motion of urgent public importance moved by Rep. Muhammed Zoro (APC-Jigawa) at the plenary in Abuja.

In the motion, Zoro said the legislature regretted the deaths and injuries sustained by the IDPs and humanitarian workers following the accidental air raid on an IDP Camp in Rann, Kale Balge Local Government area of Borno.

Zoro said that the lawmakers noted the preliminary explanation by the armed forces that the incident was not a deliberate hostile act on civilian population whose lives were their duty to protect.

He said that the investigation was to ascertain whether the air strike was in strict observance of the rules of engagement under the Air Law and International Humanitarian Law.

The lawmaker advised that the House should constitute a 10-member committee to visit the scene of the IDP camp and commiserate with bereaved families and the Government of Borno over the unfortunate incident.

Zoro said the committee should also ascertain the level of emergency assistance needed by the survivors and the level of health service being extended to the victims of the mishap.

In his contributions, Rep. Nnebe Anayo (Anambra-PDP), described the incident as “avoidable and irresponsible” that would not have happened if the NAF was diligent.

He said the Air Force had not done well and lives of innocent Nigerians had been lost in the incident.

Anayo said the incident must be deeply looked into to ascertain its details.

Rep. Orker-Jev Yisa (Benue-APC), however, said it was regrettable for a member of the legislature to have described the NAF as “irresponsible” as a result of this mistake.

He said the force had fought gallantly to dislodged terrorists from the North East of the country and the mishap occurred in an attempt to finally terminate insurgency in the area.

The lawmaker recalled that a similar mistake was recently made by the U.S. Air Force, considered as one of the best air forces in the world, when it mistakenly bombed a hospital mistaking it for an ISIS camp.

The House observed a minute silence in honour of those who lost their lives in the incident.

(NAN)

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