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Operation Restore Order (ORO)

Nigeria deployed a Joint Task Force (JTF), comprised of military and police personnel, as part of Operation Restore Order to combat Boko Haram. The apparent insecurity in Borno State and some states of the North Eastern part of Nigeriaoccasioned by the activities of Boko Haram insurgents led to the establishment of a Joint Task Force code named "JTF Operation Restore Order? in June 2011.

The mandate of Operation Restore order was to restore law and order to the north eastern part of Nigeria and Borno in particular by serving as a counter weight to Boko Haram whose activities had dealt a blow to the socio-economic life of residents of the area. Operation Restore Order comprised members of the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Armed Forces, Department of State Security, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Immigration Service and Defense Intelligence Agency.

President Jonathans term tenure since his April 2011 election was largely defined by political, religious, and ethnic violence that affect Northern Nigeria and Abuja. Boko Haram (formally known as Jamatu Ahlis Sunna Liddaawati Wal-Jihad) has waged a terrorist campaign across a growing number of northern states, calling for the institution of Sharia law across Northern Nigeria. Such attacks have resulted in nearly three thousand deaths since 2009. Attacks on churches continued to catalyze religious and ethnic-based reprisals, resulting in death tolls often under-reported in the media. President Jonathans January 2012 appointment of Mohammed Abubakar, a northerner from Zamfara state, as the new Inspector General of Police and his June 2012 appointment of Colonel (retired) Sambo Dasuki, a former military officer from Sokoto state, as his new National Security Advisor brought fresh perspective to Government of Nigeria efforts to contain Boko Haram.

Attacks in Northern states and Abuja have become increasingly lethal and sophisticated. Boko Haram has targeted churches, mosques, government installations, educational institutions, and leisure sites with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and Suicide Vehicle-borne IEDS across nine Northern states and in Abuja. In 2011, Boko Haram claimed responsibility for a bombing at the National Police Force headquarters and a suicide car bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Abuja. Due to challenging security dynamics in the North, the Mission has significantly limited official travel north of Abuja. Such trips occur only with security measures designed to mitigate the threats of car-bomb attacks and abductions.

Security force efforts to counter Boko Haram in Borno and Yobe States have elicited public allegations of the use of excessive force and human rights abuses against both innocent civilians and suspected Boko Haram members. In 2012, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch published reports noting the alleged commission of crimes against humanity by Boko Haram members and detailing credible instances of systematic human rights abuses committed by JTF forces. The Government of Nigeria has publicly denounced the reports as biased and based on unreliable witness accounts, while noting frequent, deadly attacks perpetrated by Boko Haram elements against innocent civilians.

Forces deployed to counter Islamist militants in the northeast under a JTF known as Operation Restore Order have been implicated in a range of abuses that have significantly complicated U.S.-Nigerian security cooperation. In April 2013, for example, more than 180 people were killed in fighting between security forces and suspected Boko Haram militants in the village of Baga, according to the Nigerian Red Cross and local officials; among the dead were reportedly innocent bystanders, including children. Military officials disputed the number of casualties. Multiple human rights groups implicated the JTF in mass arrests during raids in response to Boko Haram attacks, alleging that civilians are often held in military detention facilities for lengthy periods without charge or due process.

The Nigerian government ostensibly disbanded the JTF in August 2013, replacing it with the armys Seventh Division as the umbrella command for joint security operations. The State Department reports that many of the commanders and units remained the same, and the joint forces operating in the region continued to be referred to in the press as the JTF.

Some citizens wanted accountability specifically against the men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) (code name Operation Restore Order). According to one person, the JTF comes in the night to round up young men; some were extra-judicially killed and others arrested and detained at the JTF headquarters. Another woman alleged that, during raids for Boko Haram members, JTF forces routinely stole jewelry. There were also allegations of arson against the businesses and homes of suspected Boko Haram members and sympathizers.

The Operation Restore Order was later renamed Operation BOYONA drawing from the North-Eastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. Subsequently, the Operation?s name was changed to Operation Zaman Lafiya which translates to English to mean Operation Live in Peace. when it seemed the Boko Haram insurgent were notembracing the peace as expected in the Operation, the Operation was further re-named Operation Lafiya Dole which means Operation Peace by Force.

This is not to be confused with the 2005 Operation Murambatsvina (Shona for Operation Drive Out Trash) in Zimbabwe, also referred to as Operation Restore Order, officially a crackdown against illegal trading and illegal housing, conducted by the government of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, has been described by many, including the United Nations, to be a movement to make homeless and drive out a large section of the urban poor. In the past, many African countries have carried out similar slum clearances.

This is also not the the 2018 Operation Restore Order designed to resolve the Apapa Traffic Gridlock.

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Page last modified: 16-02-2019 19:17:45 ZULU