Federal government has warned that military troops fighting terrorism in North-East Nigeria must respect the rights of host communities.

It also warmed that soldiers should adhere to the rules of engagement.

The Minister of Defence, Brig.-Gen. Muhammad Dan-Ali (rtd), handed the warning in Damaturu, Yobe state at a Christmas lunch organised for troops fighting insurgency in the North East.

Dan-Ali however assured the troops that government would provide the needed logistics to expeditiously end insurgency in the country, even though he acknowledged some of the challenges facing the operations but noted that they will be addressed.

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He said, “While your welfare needs is being addressed, I urge you to continue to adhere to all the rules of engagement in your operations. I want you all to note that your actions and inactions will be accounted for, you must therefore respect the rights of people in your host communities,” he charged.

Meanwhile, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin had commended the sacrifices of troops fighting on different fronts across the country, stressing that their contributions in the defeat of terrorism would not be forgotten in a hurry.

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“We are gradually moving into 2016, therefore, we must not rest on our oars to win the war. As we move into 2016 I want to enjoin you to be more determined to reclaim all lost territories, that is the charge and demand on all of you as we enter the New Year. On our part we will do our best to ensure that all logistics and welfare required to prosecute the war to a logical conclusion were provided,” he said.

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Similarly, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai noted that the situation in the troubled region has improved tremendously and attributed the feat to the sacrifices of the troops.

“The security situation has greatly improved and I want to congratulate the troops for a job well done. We are entering the New Year and I believe that we will start winding down to conclude the operation,’’ he said.