Nigerian Military Restrains ‘Two Al Jazeera Journalists’

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Military operation areas

…Accuses Them Of Loitering Around Military Operations Zone

Military operation areas
Military operation areas

By Sadiq Umar, Abuja.

The defence authorities have curtailed the movement of two Al-Jazeera journalists working in the troubled northeast states of Nigeria, accusing them of loitering around areas where military operations are ongoing.

The journalists are Ahmed Idris and Mustafa Andy, who the troops said, were noted to have been moving around various locations including restricted areas in Yobe and Borno states, without any protection, accreditation or due clearance.

In a statement by Director of Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade, Wednesday in Abuja, the military said it had earlier cautioned the journalists against unauthorized and unprotected movements around the military operations area.

According to the statement, “Two journalists working for Al jazeera  Television  who were found to have been loitering around areas where military operations are ongoing  in the North East have been  restrained in Maiduguri.

“The journalists, Ahmed Idris and Mustafa Andy who were noted to have been moving around various locations including restricted areas in Yobe and Borno  State were also operating  without any protection , accreditation or due clearance,” it stated.

Adding that, “they were accordingly monitored by military  intelligence operatives until they eventually had to be restrained to their hotel in Maiduguri. This followed  the increasing suspicion that their activities were aimed at interfering with the  ongoing military operations in the area.

“The motive , activities and some material in possession  of these individuals are now being investigated.

“It will be recalled that Foreign journalists have earlier been cautioned  against unauthorised and unprotected  movements around the military  operations area. This warning is  hereby reiterated until formally  reversed or lifted.

“Appropriate arrangements will however continue to be made to assist duly cleared journalists to cover activities in the mission area within the limits of adequate safety, security and necessary procedures,” it added.