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Militants submitted arms seized from Cameroonians, says MEND

By Emma Amaize
WARRI—MOVEMENT for the Emancipation of the Niger-Delta alleged yesterday that some of the weapons surrendered by militants in Bayelsa State on September 22 were those seized in a November 12, 2007 raid on Cameroon gendarmes after 21 of them were killed by Nigerian soldiers.

Spokesman of the militant group, Jomo Gbomo, said yesterday, “we are hearing that the heavy browning machine guns displayed on September 22 in Yenagoa by the Bayelsa government may have come from those seized in a November 12, 2007 raid on Cameroon gendarmes where 21 of them were killed”.

He recalled that when the incident occurred, MEND blamed the Nigerian Army while the military blamed militants for the attack, saying, “since the weapons have not yet been destroyed, we want the media to stimulate awareness for an independent armament expert to verify the origin of the weapons which is simple to do”.

MEND spokesman, nevertheless, said the group was monitoring the development. But when Vanguard contacted the coordinator of the Disarmament sub-committee of the Presidential Committee on Amnesty, Air-Vice Marshal Lucky Ararile, he said, “I don’t know what they are talking about”.

He said all he knows was that weapons were surrendered to the committee at Yenoga and they were in its custody, adding that he does not know the source of their weapons but it was their erstwhile fighters that surrendered the guns to the government.

Air-Vice Marshal Ararile said MEND should come out with proof if any the guns were not surrendered by repentant militants, pointing out that it was probably after the exercise that the committee may decide to probe the sources of arms to militants.


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