Nigeria to release report into air strike that killed civilians this month

By Thomson Reuters Feb 20, 2024 | 8:42 AM

By Camillus Eboh

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria’s defense chief General Christopher Musa said on Tuesday that reports into a military drone attack that killed at least 85 civilians in northern Kaduna state in November will be released by the end of the month.

President Bola Tinubu ordered a thorough investigation following the attack, which had been targeting insurgents and bandits.

The army and air force have been called on to tackle growing threats in Nigeria’s northwest and central region posed by armed criminal gangs that spray villages with bullets and carry out mass kidnappings. The military is also battling an Islamist insurgency in the northeast.

“We are here to protect innocent citizens, not to attack them. There was a mistake, and we are addressing such issues,” General Musa told reporters in Abuja.

“The reports are ready and would be released probably before the end of this month. We had some delays,” the defence chief said, adding that it had been difficult getting the names of casualties.

General Musa said the West African nation was seeking to manufacture weapons as most countries were reluctant to sell armaments to Nigeria due to human rights concerns. He did not mention the countries.

He added that the Niger Republic has withdrawn its troops from a Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), made up of forces from Benin, Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria, to defend its own borders.

The troops were part of a regional army seeking to end the insurgency that has killed thousands and displaced millions more.

(Writing by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Sharon Singleton)