News

May 24, 2023

Experts react as report says UK special forces operated secretly in Nigeria

Experts react as report says UK special forces operated secretly in Nigeria

THE British Special Air Service and the European country’s other special forces have operated clandestinely in Nigeria and 18 other nations over the past 12 years, according to a report by a research organisation, known as Action On Gun Violence, AOAV, accentuated by UK Guardian.

It will be recalled that in 2012, a group of SBS commandos attempted and failed to rescue a Briton and an Italian held by an Islamist group in Nigeria.

The British SAS also operated secretly in Algeria, Estonia, France, Oman, Iraq, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Cyprus, Pakistan, Somalia, the Philippines, Russia, Syria, Ukraine, Yemen and most recently Sudan.

It gives the impression that the prime minister and defence secretary frequently send personnel of the SAS, Special Boat Service, and Special Reconnaissance Regiment on dangerous operations, usually when Britain is not at war, the Guardian UK reported.

“The extensive deployment of Britain’s Special Forces in numerous countries over the past decade has raised serious concerns about transparency and democratic oversight.

Reacting to this yesterday, a security expert , Major Bone Efoziem, retd, described the action as a breach of Nigeria’s sovereignty as a nation and an indication  that the security architecture of the country was near zero. .

 He said:   “It is an indictment, particularly to the government of the day as at the time the opinion was carried out, for two basic reasons.  One, the personnel of an international security agency ,  came into Nigeria unrecognized; two they carried out these operations bearing arms and ammunitions that were basically prohibited; thirdly they operated within a terrain that is within the confines of  a territorial integrity of a nation called Nigeria without being identified.”

Also reacting yesterday, former spokesperson of Nigeria Police Force, CP Emmanuel Ojukwu, retd, said: “Under international law and diplomacy, every country is a sovereign and if the services – military, paramilitary or even the Police of a country want to carry out an operation in another country, there must be prior approval, certification and cooperation  with the country they want to carry out such operation.”

If they do not have that permission, it may amount to evasion and the declaration of war against that country , which they can not fight.”

Retired Colonel Gbolwole Majekodunmi of the NDA Regular Course13 , said in his reaction: “Normally, they can’t come in without authorisation of either of the services. If they came in like that and the government was not aware, the implication is grievous.

”Besides, they would have communication gadgets and  their internal agents among NGOs working in the north east.  It has a grievous implication in the sense that they will know where our military arsenals are located and may use it against us, especially the Francophone countries surrounding us.  They may leak it to their colonial masters.”