Weeks after the ugly incident, where an air strike by the Nigerian Air Force, NAF did hit an IDP camp,according to reports, the Defence Headquarters has said that “lack of appropriate marking’’ caused the attack in Rann, a remote village in Borno state.
The Rann IDP camp is located in Kala-balge Local Government Area. The camp caters for thousands of persons displaced by Boko Haram insurgency.
John Enenche, Director Defence Information, on Friday disclosed to journalists the outcome of the board of inquiry set up to probe the incident.
NAF had set up a board to investigate the bombing carried out by one of its fighter jets on the IDP camp that killed at least 54 people in January.
Mr. Enenche, a major-general, said the bombing was carried out on the location because it was not “reflected in the operational map as a humanitarian base.”
“Hitherto, people were not expected to amass at that location.”
“The normal pattern for Boko Haram terrorists to form up before attacking innocent civilians and troops is to amass. Hence, it appeared as a place that could equally be used for enemy activities.
“Thus, when the mass movement was noticed through aerial satellite observation, it was taken for Boko Haram terrorists’ activity, which needed to be neutralised with speed,” he added.
The military chief did not, however, explain why there was no coordination between soldiers who planned and executed the air raid and the soldiers who were on the ground to provide security for the Rann camp.
Mr. Enenche stressed that to prevent future occurrence, all locations where humanitarian activities take place in the theatre of operation would be “marked appropriately for ground and aerial identification in line with international best practices.”
According to him, the board came up with other recommendations to prevent such incident. The recommendations include to identify all the geographical and spatial coordinates of all areas of humanitarian activities within the area of operations which must be provided to the Theatre Command Headquarters.
“There should be a timely and mandatory exchange of information between stakeholders, for all activities in the theater of operation.’’
Source:( Premium Times )