Nigeria to track terrorists through DNA data-bank

Lagos, May 16 (IANS) Nigeria is set to establish a Deoxyribonucleic Acid DNA data-bank with a view to deploying it in tracking criminal elements, especially terrorists in the country, Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama has said.

The Nigerian official disclosed this in Abuja, the West African country’s capital city on Saturday on the sidelines of the ongoing 2nd Regional Security Summit, Xinhua reported.

“We have within the country nearly 2 million internally displaced persons, a real tragedy which we have to address,” he told reporters.

“We also have about 6,000 children under the age of five who are separated from their parents and homes. We have to look at how to address that human catastrophe,” he added.

“What we are looking at is the use of DNA to try and match those children with parents. The DNA data-bank is really what we are looking at. And we could ultimately extend the data-bank to the whole country because we know that for a lot of countries, it is through their comprehensive DNA data-bank that they use in tracking terrorists and that is also going to help us in intelligence gathering,” the minister said.

He added that the summit would also institute a post-conflict development programme, and as well put in place mechanisms that would ensure that the military gains in the north east are consolidated through civil programs by winning the hearts of the people through reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement of the IDPs.

Boko Haram’s insurgency has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions. Nigeria is heading up a multinational joint task force along with Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Benin which was set up in March 2015.

Earlier this month, Nigerian troops have commenced large scale operations to flush out Boko Haram terrorists from their Sambisa forest hideout in restive Borno, north-eastern Nigeria.

–IANS

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