Sources within military circles have expressed concern over the reticent attitude of Chad Republic in the ongoing counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency war against Boko Haram in the North-east. The reluctance of Chad to station its forces along its contiguous border with other member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) is said to be jeopardizing the effective operations of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJT) said sources within the Military.
The arrangement for establishing the MNTF was that each member country including Nigeria, Chad, Niger Republic and Cameroun were expected to contribute troops towards effective control of the contiguous borders aimed at stopping easy movement of terrorists.
“This has however proved difficult because Chad have pulled away from their borders and has not contributed troops for the effective operation of MNJTF. As it stands now, its like Nigeria is still practically piloting the whole process as Cameroun and Niger Republic are also busy dealing with increasing Boko Haram attacks within their respective territories,” the Army confirmed.
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, who said that Chadian government are yet to contribute the needed troops to man their side of the common borders. Olonisakin disclosed this while fielding questions from journalists after meeting with the Nigerien Defence team led by their Joint Chief of Staff, Gen. Seyni Garba.
He admitted that the Military were having issues with the Chadians but the military authorities are working round the clock to address the issue.
“The troops for the MNJTF are drawn from five nations; Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroun and Benin Republic. Most of the troops have been deployed especially from Niger which is in the same sector with Nigeria and they are performing their roles effectively”.
“The importance of this meeting is to deepen our collaboration, our cooperation and coordination to ensure that the menace of terrorism is brought to a logical conclusion soonest”.
“Most of the countries in the MNJTF arrangement have deployed troops except for areas relating to Chad. They are having some issues which we are addressing, the commander of the MNJTF have gone round the countries involved in this operation to ensure that they are well deployed in their location.”
The CDS said the visit of his Nigerien counterpart was timely in that it would provide both countries the opportunity interact and restragise on their bilateral relationship focusing on joint “capacity development, joint operations, and operational visits amongst others.”
Olonisakin expressed hope that the issues with the neighbouring Francophone countries would be resolved towards ending the Boko Haram insurgency in the sub-region and within the deadline directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Seyni Garba who lead the Nigerien team, expressed optimism that insurgency can be defeated in the next one month, adding “it is already a year now, Boko Haram have lost territories they were previously in control of.”
“They have been degraded to an extent, even if they still had the capacity to wreak havoc. They are not as deadly as they were a year ago”.
Garba added, “the tempo of the fight has changed because the insurgents now use IEDs”.
“Our visit is to consolidate on what we have jointly achieved, we want to see how coordination, collaboration and cooperation can do to finally defeat the terrorists,” he stated.
The Nigerian Army has debunked the reports that more than 100 soldiers from the 157 Battalion are missing following a daring attack by Boko Haram insurgents at Gudunbali, Borno State on Wednesday.
While addressing a press conference in Maiduguri 19-11-2015, the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Yusha’u Abubakar, said there was no truth in the report.
He said it was just a rumour on the social media and should not be taken seriously as it was “rumour and unofficial, incredible, unreliable, baseless and unfounded as no officer has reported such matter to me or any senior military officer yet as far as I am concerned and to the best of my knowledge.”
He however admitted that there was a heavy exchange of gunfire between Nigerian troops and the insurgents in Gulumba but that the casualty figure is not yet known by him.
The commander also appealed to the public to support and cooperate with the military as the fight or war is the guerrilla type, assuring that very soon it will come to an end, pointing out that the fight is not only for the military but for all Nigerians.
He said the Nigerian troops have continually made success in the counter-insurgency operation in the North-east.
He said during operations in Borno and Yobe States some arms and ammunition were recovered in the last one week including over 278 live ammunitions, machine guns, AK47 rifles, Improvised Explosive Devices IEDs, vehicles and foodstuff among other items from the Boko Haram insurgents.
He said during crossfire hundreds of Boko Haram insurgents were killed in different locations in Borno and Yobe states by the troops with the support of the air force special squad interdiction missions.
He said during the patrols terrorists camps were discovered and destroyed while number of items were recovered .
He said there is the need to clear the newly liberated communities of debris which may require some time to do by the state government.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army yesterday said three members of the deadly Boko Haram terrorist group on the 100 wanted list were arrested in Yobe State alone.
Briefing the media in Damaturu, the capital of troubled Yobe State capital, the Commandant of the 27th Task Force Brigade, Colonel Dahiru Bako disclosed that one of the suspects was arrested in Jakusko Local Government Area while the remaining two were napped in Damaturu the state capital.
Omolara Adegoke- Abuja
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