Posted by News Express | 25 August 2014 | 4,521 times
Nigerian soldiers erroneously reported by some media outlets (News Express not included) as having defected to Cameroon on Monday after being allegedly over-powered by Boko Haram, have returned to their barracks, Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has disclosed. This vindicates DHQ, which had dismissed the reports, clarifying that the troops were not on the run but only found themselves in Cameroon during a fierce battle with Boko Haram terrorists.
Yesterday, DHQ confirmed that the troops returned from Cameroon earlier in the day and had been addressed by the General Officer Commanding 3 Division, Major General Zaruwa. DHQ also confirmed that the troops were already warming up to embark on another mission in the counter terrorism campaign.
“All the soldiers are in high spirit with all their weapons and equipment intact,” a DHQ source told News Express yesterday night.
Cameroon’s Army spokesman, Lt.-Col. Didier Badjek, had on Monday told BBC that about 480 Nigerian soldiers fled into the country following fierce fighting with Boko Haram insurgents and had been disarmed and accommodated in schools.
But, as reported Monday by News Express, DHQ explained as follows in a statement by its spokesman, Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade: “The Nigerian troops that were found in Cameroun was as a result of a sustained battle between the troops and the terrorists around the borders with Cameroun which saw the Nigerian troops charging through the borders in a tactical manoeuvre.
“Eventually they found themselves on Cameroonian soil. Being allies the normal protocol of managing such incident demanded that the troops submit their weapons in order to assure the friendly country that they were not on a hostile mission.
“Following necessary discussions between Nigerian and Cameroonian military authorities, the issues have been sorted out. Subsequently, the troops are on their way back to join their unit in Nigeria.”
•Photo shows Nigerian soldiers during a training session.
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