The war against terrorism in the Lake Chad Basin may be experiencing a setback following the withdrawal of Niger Republic from the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) which comprises the Lake Chad countries of Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Niger Republic and Benin Republic, Daily Trust has reported.…CONTINUE READING
To deal with the security threats posed by Boko Haram insurgents in the Lake Chad Basin, the MNJTF was established in 2014, remodelled and re-operationalised in 2015 with an increased capacity of about 10,000 troops.
The Force, headquartered in N’Djamena, Chad, was authorized by the African Union on March 2015.
Following the recent military coup, Niger was said to have pulled out of the security arrangement as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) imposed several sanctions on the country, including suspension from the regional bloc.
READ ALSO : Boko Haram ambushes Gov Buni’s escorts, kills police officer
Sources said that the vacuum created by the absence of Niger had resulted in the escalation of attacks on the fringes of the Lake Chad and the flow of a huge cache of arms and fighters from the North Africa-based ISIS into the region.
Some locations across the region, especially within the axis of Gaidam in Yobe State, Mallam Fatori and Damasak in the fringe of Lake Chad, are witnessing a sustained and steady infiltration of foreign fighters.
According to sources in the Gaidam community, Niger removed troops they had stationed at the Gaidam-Niger border leading to the increase in the terrorist attacks.
‘’Indeed, we heard that Niger’s troops are not on the Niger-Nigeria’s border which is a setback in the fight against Boko Haram.
‘’The soldiers stationed in the Diffah-Maini strip have been removed and relocated to other areas in their country, so from what we heard is that these guys (terrorists) are using the space (border) to attack the defenceless citizens’’ one of the sources said.
He observed that the troops were not doing enough to end the insurgency. ‘’What we observed is that the commitment of the military personnel is very poor; they are there doing nothing to curtail the attacks.”
Setback for counterterrorism as Niger pulls out of MNJTF
‘’They need to re-strategize their work. You cannot be in the town collecting N50 or N100 from traders who are coming to Gaidam for the weekly market while people are being killed daily’’ he added.
Another source said, Boko Haram attacks and activities in Gaidam LGA of Yobe state had increased recently when compared to the last two years or more.
Within the last two weeks, 42 persons have been killed, including Usman Gombe, a customs officer, who was shot dead.
Residents of the LGA said the activities of Boko Haram insurgents on the outskirts of Gaidam had increased in recent days, with the terrorists’ collecting taxes from farmers and herdsmen.
The sources said on Sunday that the lack of patrol by the security personnel had given a chance to the terrorists to attack the armless communities.
It was learnt that the security personnel are only safeguarding the Gaidam metropolis from internal and external terrorist attacks to avoid casualties.
‘’It is obvious that lack of patrol by the military personnel to the eastern part of Gaidam is one of the reasons why Boko Haram increased their attacks.
‘’If the security agencies would increase their patrol along the Yobe-Borno states’ border, the terrorists would be afraid to enforce tax on the ordinary villagers or even launch any attacks.
‘’Just in the last two weeks, the military killed 3 Boko Haram terrorists who they (soldiers) met during their patrol. Therefore, if the soldiers would keep doing things like this, the terrorists would be afraid to come out, let alone attacking people’’ he said.
When contacted to explain why Niger withdrew its soldiers from the borders, the MNJTF commander’s spokesman, Lt Col A.A., simply said : “I don’t know. You can ask the Nigerien Defence Headquarters.”
He, however, added: “Niger is still part of MNJTF.”
Renewed attacks may hamper IDP resettlement efforts
Between 2015 and 2023, the MNJTF has conducted several operations, including reclaiming territories hitherto under the control of Boko Haram and resettling internally displaced persons back to their ancestral homes.
These included Operation Gama Aiki, conducted in 2016, operation Rawan Kada in 2017, Operation Amni Fakat in 2018, Operation Yancin Tafki from January 2019-March 2021, operating along the Monguno-Baga-Lake Chad Islands axis, Operation sharan Fage in December 2021 and operation lake sanity in March 2022.
With the efforts of the MNJTF and other security agencies, the Borno State Government had, in January 2021, begun the resettlement of internally displaced persons back to their communities.
In the first phase of the resettlement programme, the government announced that over 11,000 households, consisting of about 100,000 people had been resettled in 20 communities across 13 local government areas of the state.
The areas include Damasak, Banki, Kauwuri, Ajiri, New Marte, Baga, Ngoshe, Kirawa, Kukawa, Mairari and Mallam Fatori, located on the shores of Lake Chad.
Nigeria’s border with Niger stretches 1,608 kilometres (999 miles) in length covering seven states in the northern part of Nigeria, including Kebbi, Sokoto, Katsina, Zamfara, Jigawa,Yobe and Borno States.
Sector 4 of the MNJTF, which is the area of responsibility (AOR), covers the extreme southeastern part of Niger Republic along the Koumadougou-Yobe Road where some of the resettled villages are located.
The effort by the MNJTF, particularly Sector 4 (Niger), led to the resettlement of thousands of IDPs, but with the withdrawal of Nigerien troops from their area of responsibilities, residents feared that the gains recorded in the fight against terrorism in their communities might be reversed.
ISWAP/Boko Haram fighters gaining momentum in Niger Republic.
It was gathered that the terrorists have so far attacked 15 locations of Nigerien troops, killing several of the troops and dislodging several of the Nigerien military formations from their strategic locations.
Recent weeks witnessed widespread jubilations in ISWAP enclaves because of the arrival of a fresh cache of weapons from ISIS in the Sahel and foreign fighters to help reclaim the Lake Chad region from the MNJTF.
“Our MNJTF must rise above the bar to prevent every movement of these groups,” a source warned, saying “I am sure they are also in the picture of what I am saying. We need to cut ISIS-supplied arms and ammunition supplies from the Niger axis.”
The source described the situation as a big setback for the war against terrorism.
“It is a threat to the Niger Republic and also a threat to the stabilization of entire Lake Chad countries because many ISIS fighters are currently hibernating in Niger,” he sternly warned.
“I can tell you that Mallamfatori, Guzamala, and Marte (in Nigeria’s Borno State) have a heavy presence of ISWAP fighters,” he warned further.
Another source hinted of three communities in Nigeria’s Borno State being on ISWAP’s attack list for more than six months now, calling on the MNJTF troops to keep vigilance.
He warned that Monguno in Nigeria’s Borno State had been one of the main targets of the terrorists in recent times.
“This is coming as the outlawed groups have adopted a new war strategy of attacking their targets towards evening to evade the air support for the ground troops,” the source said.
He revealed the new strategy of ISWAP fighters forming straight lines to carry out attacks.
“I will advise Nigerian troops to be vigilant and battle-ready because there is a high tendency that ISWAP, with the support of foreign fighters, may attack Monguno, especially in the evening,” the source warned. He would not suggest any date.
He also disclosed that Banki and Mallam Fatori were targets of the terror group, saying, “I believe Nigerian troops are also aware of this development.”
It would be recalled that recently, the Air Task Force of Operation Hadin Kai had carried out two air bombardments on some foreign fighters in the Mobbar axis of Borno State.
This has forced the terrorists to relocate to Baga axis, Tumbus and Kaganruwa in Kukawa LGA to safe haven in Marte LGA.
Defence Headquarters mum
Efforts to get a comment from the Military High Command, were unsuccessful as the Director of the Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba, neither answered phone calls nor replied text and WhatsApp messages sent to him as of the time of filing this report.
Meanwhile, Buba had, earlier in a statement on Friday, said the military was targeting the commanders of Boko Haram ISWAP terrorists attacking communities that share border with the Niger Republic.
He had also said the ongoing counter-insurgency and counter terrorism operations across the country were yielding encouraging results. He cited the killing of 50 terrorists and the arrest of 122 others in different operations across the country within the last one week.
Third Republic lawmakers besiege NASS, demand payment of salaries, entitlements
Benue Assembly Crisis: We Suspended Four Lawmakers Over Plot To Embarrass Alia
2023 elections: Court remands APC Chieftain over vote-buying
Nasarawa Assembly approves Gov Sule’s N199.9bn budget
UN urges Nigerian Military to review rules of engagement
Governor Alia Vs SGF George Akume: Is Primate Ayodele’s Prophecy Coming To Pass?
Dep senate president, army committee demand probe of Kaduna bombing
Majority leader confirmed attempt to impeach Speaker
Bode George: Ownership of Lagos controversy ‘disheartening, shameful, embarrassing’
Israel approves new settlement in east Jerusalem: NGO
Benin Republic Seeks Stronger Ties With Nigeria
Japa syndrome, sample of bad leadership in Nigeria — Oloyede
Vladimir Putin, flanked by Russian fighters, jets into Middle East to meet Saudi’s MbS
BREAKING: Corps member donates N6.5m 3-classroom block, offices to Plateau community
I’m president of a tiny US nation with 38 residents where onions are banned and you’re jailed for having spinach
Senate draws battle line with NNPC GCEO, Kyari, issues 24-hour ultimatum to appear
CDS Musa: The silent achiever
Nasarawa Speaker Pledges To Prioritize Staff Welfare, Warns Against Indiscipline
Och’Otukpa loses wife, Jennifer Onyeche Ekele
Senate Alleges Foreign Prisoners Working In Construction Firms In Nigeria
Why I am angry with Pres. Tinubu and his team
Squeeze 1 Lemon, Mix It With 1 Tablespoon Of Olive Oil And You Will Use This Mixture Forever
To Avoid Cancer, Avoid Excessive Consumption Of These Three Substances
UNIOSUN Medical Student Dies Of Asthma Attack
Kogi Gov’ship Election Petition Tribunal Should be Relocated From Lokoja – Uk’omu Igala
BREAKING: Popular Adult Film Actress Dies At 36 After Her Boyfriend Died At 34
Final Premier League Table After Today’s Matches as Arsenal extend their lead over Liverpool in the Title Race
How to Apply for the Presidential Palliative Loan Scheme 2023 – Get Up To N1 Million-N1 Billion
BREAKING: FG, States Borrowing Workers’ N11trn Contributory Pension Funds At Low-Interest Rate – Oshiomhole
I Am In Talks With A New Goalkeeper For Super Eagles At AFCON – Peseiro Tells NFF, Minister For Sports
Los Angeles Chef Confessed He Cooked His Wife’s Body for Four Days to Dispose of It
FIRST Time A Man (TINUBU) Who Fought For Democracy Became President Of Nigeria (VIDEO)
Simple Ways To Eliminate Cockroaches From Your Home
Port Harcourt Refinery To Commence Production December
Martinelli instantly goes from Arsenal hero to zero ‘bottling it’ for Luton goal
FLASHBACK: Okorocha is my brother, I have begged him for forgiveness – Uzodinma
Why relationships and marriages don’t last long again
Osun APC, PDP clash over Adeleke’s plan to extend Ilesa water contract lifespan
Tertiary Institutions Defy Academic Tradition, Graduate Students Without Matriculation
‘Another gory episode’ – Kwankwaso chides military over bombing of Kaduna villagers
Health4 months ago
Cancer Of The Stomach Kills, Stop Eating These 4 Foods
Health4 months ago
Soak Onions in Warm Water And Drink it For 3 Days And Thank Me Later
Relationship4 months ago
If you do these things she will never stop thinking about you
Lifestyle4 months ago
Men, If You want to Enjoy Your Marriage, Never Marry a Woman With These 6 Qualities
Lifestyle3 months ago
White Spots On Legs: What Causes Them And How To Get Rid Of Them
Lifestyle4 months ago
Signs That Show Infection Is Growing In Your Pènis
Lifestyle4 months ago
Vegetables You Should Consume Frequently As You Grow Older To Reduce Skin Aging
Latest News4 months ago
BREAKING: CBN Sends Message to Nigerians over New Policy on Dollar to Naira Exchange