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17 Nigerian soldiers killed, equipment stolen in multiple Boko Haram onslaught

A roadside ambush and two gunfire attacks reported earlier this week killed at least one officer and 16 soldiers and wounded 18 more troops in the volatile North-east region of Nigeria, in a daring continuation of Boko Haram’s renewed rampage against military targets that escalated with the raiding of two formations last week

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A roadside ambush and two gunfire attacks reported earlier this week killed at least one officer and 16 soldiers and wounded 18 more troops in the volatile North-east region of Nigeria, in a daring continuation of Boko Haram’s renewed rampage against military targets that escalated with the raiding of two formations last week.

Top military sources who briefed PREMIUM TIMES on the aftermath of each of the three attacks executed over a five-day span said the insurgents also carted away valuable military hardware, including anti-aircraft gun trucks, Toyota Hilux trucks and at least one armoured personnel carrier.

The near-simultaneous and increasingly frequent attacks appeared to have greatly unsettled the military leadership in recent days, with sources attributing the latest redeployment of top commanders overseeing the counter-insurgency operations to the disappointment being felt at the Defence Headquarters.
It was the fifth reshuffle since 2015 in commanders of Operation Lafiya Dole, Nigerian military’s flagship anti-terrorism campaign across the Northeast.

Another Week Of Heavy Military Losses

In at least one instance, the terrorists destroyed an anti-aircraft gun truck rather than drive it away in Tarmuwa Local Government Area of Yobe State, sources said. This was when a detachment from 223 Battalion led by a lieutenant colonel lost eight soldiers after it was ambushed on July 21, marking the first of the last one week’s attacks.

One soldier was seriously wounded in that attack.

Read Also: Murder of 11 taxi drivers spikes S’Africa’s record of gang-related killings

On July 24, soldiers on patrol in Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State encountered Boko Haram attackers in Yajiwa-Kaffa axis. One officer and six soldiers were killed while 14 other members of the team, including two local hunters, were seriously injured in the gunfire that erupted, military sources said.

The army did not disclose the attack to the media, which was why it went unreported until military sources informed PREMIUM TIMES about it Friday night as part of the paper’s findings about military and civilian casualties in the renewed Boko Haram attacks.

The terrorists continued their deadly campaign with the attack on Thursday night in Jakana, Borno settlement which lies west of Maiduguri on the road to Kano. Although the attack was largely repelled as security agencies said, two soldiers were still killed and three injured, facts the Nigerian Army and police concealed in their respective statements but which senior officers have now disclosed PREMIUM TIMES.

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Sudan recalls Ambassador from Addis Ababa after accusing Ethiopia of executing soldiers

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Sudan has recalled its ambassador to Ethiopia after accusing the Ethiopian army of executing seven Sudanese soldiers and a civilian who had been held in captivity.

The Sudanese military had said on Sunday that the Ethiopian soldiers had executed the captives and displayed their bodies in public while negotiations were ongoing for their release, promising that there would be “an appropriate response” to the execution.

“It is an act that contravenes all laws and customs of war and international humanitarian law, the Ethiopian army executed seven Sudanese soldiers and a citizen who were their captives.

“This treacherous act will not pass without a response,” the Sudanese military said.

The Ethiopian government however, denied complicity by its military in the killing of the Sudanese soldiers, blaming the Sudanese forces for crossing into its territory and provoking a clash.

The Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Addis Ababa, issued a statement expressing regret over the incident but said Ethiopia has been misrepresented.

“The Government of Ethiopia categorically rejects the misrepresentation of these facts by the Sudanese defense forces that unjustly put the blame on Ethiopia, while it was the Sudanese army unit that crossed (over) the Ethiopian border, provoking the incident.”

But in an announcement late Monday, Sudan said it would recall its envoy from Addis Ababa as well as summon the Ethiopian ambassador from Khartoum.

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Uganda’s Government changes position, invites striking art teachers for negotiations

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The Ugandan government has made a turn on its decision to sack all arts teachers involved in the industrial action.

The change in position comes barely days after the government threatened to dismiss the teachers. Minister Raphael Magyezi had revealed that the government had reached a final position to have Arts striking teachers sacked if they do not get back to class.

The government backed down and invited the leaders of the tutors’ union for negotiations to end the ongoing strike that has paralysed learning in public schools for two weeks now.

Art teachers across Uganda downed tools last week, threatening to throw the country’s education sector into yet another crisis, a few months after schools came out of two years of a shutdown that kept thousands of learners at home.

The general secretary of the Uganda Professional Science Teachers Union, Mr Aron Mugaiga, had advised the leadership of the Uganda National Teachers Union (Unatu) to encourage their art counterparts to return to class.

“I urge members to go back and teach because if they continue with the industrial action, the lost time will never be recovered when the government affects their pay enhancement. I believe the doors for negotiations are still open,” Mr Mugaiga said.

The ongoing strike is just five months after Uganda reopened schools following a two-year closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, has already caused outrage as more than eight million children in public schools miss out on learning.

Over 300 percent pay increment was allocated for science teachers in Uganda’s budget for the 2022/23 financial year, which starts in July but the allocation does not include arts and humanities teachers.

It is not uncommon to see prolonged industrial actions in Africa. Elsewhere in the continent, Nigeria, University teachers have been on strike since February over salary related agreement the academic union had with the government in 2009.

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