A report by the Institute for Peace and Counter-Terrorism Studies examining the operations of the Nigerian Military against the Boko Haram/ISWAP group in North-East Nigeria
The Institute for Peace and Counter-Terrorism Studies is a Think-Tank that coordinates intellectual activities for the promotion of global peace and prevention of terrorism across the globe. The Institute for Peace and Counter-Terrorism Studies has been at the vanguard of identifying the operational methods of the Nigerian Military in operation in North East Nigeria since 2009 when the Boko Haram group began a violent campaign in Nigeria.
Consequently, the Institute for Peace and Counter-Terrorism Studies commissioned a research into the operations of the Nigerian Military in North-East Nigeria for January to April, 2020 and presents the following report.
The Nigerian Military as a State Actor and efforts to keep the peace:
• RESCUE OPERATION FOR INNOCENT CITIZENS BEING HELD HOSTAGE:
The Institute for Peace and Counter-Terrorism Studies identified that the Nigerian Military had been actively involved in rescue operations across the North East involving the rescue of women and children, as well as older people that have been held hostage and used as human shields by the Boko Haram group.
A critical survey revealed that between 2018, 2019, and 2020 the Nigerian Military rescued a total number of 12,500 people from the captivity of Boko Haram in parts of Yobe and Borno State. From the figure, 80% were women and children, and 20% were aged people that needed urgent medical attention.
It was also observed that the Nigerian Military rescue operations were carried out in a fashion that has resulted in minimal casualties. The Nigerian Military also had a medical team that attended to those rescued from captivity before they are released to their various families.
• NEUTRALIZATION OF TERRORISTS AND CRIMINAL ELEMENTS:
The Nigerian Military have been actively involved in the war against Boko Haram in North-East Nigeria, and that has seen several casualties from both sides. However, it was observed that the Boko Haram fighters have been at the receiving end of a continuous military onslaught that has led to the neutralization of Boko Haram terrorists, as well as other criminal elements.
The sustained military operations against the Boko Haram group also led to the death of scores of Boko Haram fighters. The Institute for Peace and Counter-Terrorism Studies identified that over 350 Boko Haram fighters were killed in the past month in North-East Nigeria, and over 500 sustaining life-threatening injuries.
• COUNTER-OFFENSIVE CAMPAIGN:
It was observed that the counteroffensives by the Nigerian Military had yielded positive results. The casualty figures recorded so far has been on the low compared to previous years where the Nigerian Military recorded heavy casualties from their operations.
The Nigerian troops have been able to sustain the tempo with the introduction of additional counter-terrorism methods, as well as a boost in their military hardware that gave them the edge and with superior firepower over the Boko Haram group.
It was also observed that the operational strategy of the Nigerian Military have indeed placed the Boko Haram fighters on the brink of defeat baring all unforeseen circumstances. As at concluding the research work, it was established that 762 Boko Haram fighters lost their lives in battle with the Nigerian troops led by the Military Chief in Nigeria, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai.
In the course of the research work, it was observed that the military chief, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai has been leading the battle against Boko Haram. The military chief coordinates the day-to-day operations and offensives against the Boko Haram terrorists.
It was also observed that the presence of the military chief, Tukur Buratai has served as a source of motivation to the troops and this has been responsible for the gains recorded by the Nigerian Military in the war against Boko Haram in North-East Nigeria.
The presence of the military chief has continued to serve the purpose of motivation in the operations of the Nigerian Military in North-East, Nigeria.
The Non- State Actors (Boko Haram/ISWAP)
• Loss of confidence by Shekau and his commanders:
In the course of extensive research in the operations of the Boko Haram/ISWAP, it was identified that the camp of the Boko Haram/ISWAP has been polarized along various lines. There are those opposed to the continued stance of Abubakar Shekau and want a truce with the Nigerian Military. There are also those who see the casualties as a sign that Abubakar Shekau has misled them so far, and there is a need for him to step down from his responsibilities as their supreme leader.
This situation has heightened the tension in the Boko Haram camp and further given the Nigerian troops the edge with sustained military offensives.
• FATIGUE IN BATTLE AND LACK OF COHESION:
It was observed that the Boko Haram/ISWAP camp is experiencing fatigue which was occasioned by long hours of battle with the Nigerian Military. The fact that the Nigerian Military boast of more modern and advanced military hardware and tanks puts the Boko Haram fighters in terrible strain and the consequent result has been fatigue in battle and lack of cohesion.
It was gathered that this situation has led to the Boko Haram/ISWAP group splitting into many factions with most of the commanders that hitherto held sway no longer ready to continue.
• POOR MANAGEMENT OF AVAILABLE RESOURCES AND GREED
Our team of researchers was able to gather that the Boko Haram/ISWAP group is having difficulties assessing funds and logistics. The group is struggling with the availability of limited resources at their disposal, and this has put a strain on their operational effectiveness.
There is also uproar amongst Boko Haram members that Abubakar Shekau is mismanaging funds meant for the execution of their offensive against the Nigerian Military as well as their allowances that have remained unpaid for a long time.
It was also gathered that Abubakar Shekau has been soliciting to his fighters not to down their arms in these critical times. However, the various pleas seem not to have been able to pacify the bulk of the fighters that have remained delusional zed daily.
• REGIONAL COOPERATION.
The Boko Haram crisis has assumed a regional dimension and this lead to the revamping of the Multinational Joint Task Force comprising of troops from Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon. This regional collaboration has put the Boko Haram group in a dire situation as most of their routes for receiving logistic supplies have been taken over by troops from the Multinational Joint Task Force.
The Nigerian government, by all indices the most significant contributor to the operations of the Multinational Joint Task Force in terms of funding and troops. This commitment from the Nigerian government has enabled the operational effectiveness of the Multinational Joint Task Force.
The contribution of Chad has been felt in recent times. The Chadian authorities on their part were able to secure the borders between Nigeria and Chad as well as the Lake Chad basin region. This action has deprived the Boko Haram group the luxury of launching attacks in Nigeria and retreating to the Islands on the Lake Chad Basin region from where they hitherto regroup and receive logistics supplies from external sources.
The Nigerien authorities have shown commitment by deploying thousands of fighting troops to the operations of the Multinational Joint Task Force. Nigerien troops have also fortified the borders between Niger and Nigeria from the Lake Chad Basin region.
The Cameroonian government has also contributed troops and resources towards the success of the operations of the Multinational Joint Task Force. Tremendous efforts have been made to secure Boko Haram cells located in the Mandara Mountains where they recruit and train their fighters.
The Institute for Peace and Counter-Terrorism Studies after extensive scrutiny of the issues in the war against the Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists concludes that the operational strategies of the Nigerian Military have proven to be effective in neutralizing the threats posed by the Boko Haram/ISWAP group.
We wish to state that if this tempo is sustained, the Boko Haram/ISWAP group might eventually surrender as the odds are against it.
The Institute for Peace and Counter-Terrorism Studies commends the efforts of the Nigerian Military led
Army Records Another Success ,Rescue 241 Women and Children From Boko Haram
The Nigerian Army says its troops of Army Super Camp 11 Gambouru under Sector 1 of Operation Lafiya Dole has neutralised 12 Boko Haram Terrorists rescued 241 persons in captivity comprising 105 Women and 136 Children.
The Coordinator Defence Media Operations
Major General John Enenche, disclosed this on Friday in Abuja.
Enenche said that the troops had continued to sustain the ongoing counter terrorism operations, making life unbearable for the marauding remnants of the Boko Haram/Islamic State’s West African Province (ISWAP) criminals.
He said troops of 151 Battalion on 26 May 2020 successfully killed several Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) including several suicide bombers, while numerous others fled with gun shot wounds.
According to him, the gallant troops succesfully engaged the criminal Boko Haram elements who were mounted on 10 Gun Trucks and attempted to simultaneously attack the troops’ locations at Banki Junction and Firgi in Bama LGA of Borno State under the cover of darkness.
“The courageous troops however overpowered the terrorists with superior firepower and captured 1 Cobra Armoured Personnel Carrier, one Dushka Anti-Aircraft Gun, 1 AK 47 Rifle and 1 FN Rifle”.
“Other items captured by the gallant troops include 3 Hand Grenades, 2 AK 47 Rifle magazines, one FN Rifle magazine, 78 rounds of 12.7mm Anti-Aircraft ammunition, 25 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition and 25 rounds of fabricated 7.62mm ammunition from the criminals”.
Enenche further disclosed that on 24 May 2020, a prominent Boko Haram fighter, Malam Adamu Yahaya AKA Saad Karami, who led the last attack on troops in Baga town and equally participated in attacks on Metele, Mairari, Bindiram, Kangarwa and Shetimari (Niger Republic) voluntarily surrendered to troops of 242 Battalion in Monguno.
According to him, it was as a result of the aggressive posture of the troops and artillery bombardments of terrorists’ suspected locations around the general area.
Suicide Bombers Coordinator Apprehended as Army Sustain Onslaught
Troops of 251 Task Force Battalion Strong Response Area Dolari deployed at Internally Displaced Persons’ Camp II in conjunction with elements of Borno State Civilian Joint Task Force have arrested one Bakura Rawa Modu who was detected loitering within the Camp.
The suspect who initially claimed to be a Motor Boy later confessed to being a Boko Haram member for the past 5 years. He also disclosed that he coordinated several suicide bombings within Konduga general area in addition to his participation in series of Boko Haram attacks on both military and civilian targets.
The Boko Haram member further confessed to be a spy sent to monitor activities of troops within the Internally Displaced Persons Camp.
According to the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, the arrest is part of victory recorded as troops sustain onslaught in various operations against terrorists and other criminal elements nationwide.
He said troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI deployed at Forward Operating Bases Wuya and Jangebe on 22 May 2020, conducted a robust fighting patrol to Doka and Tungar Duna Villages in Anka LGA of Zamfara State.
That the resilience of the troops led to the discovery of a kidnappers’ hideout at Tungar Duna and subsequent rescue of 6 kidnapped victims from the den as the criminals fled on sighting the advancing troops.
In the same vein, another kidnapped victim was rescued after troops of Army Super Camp 11 Gamboru deployed in Ngala LGA of Borno State based on credible intelligence rescued a local who was abducted around Wulgo general area by some Boko Haram criminals.
The hot pursuit by the troops forced the abductors to abandon their victim and fled during which 5 bicycles belonging to the abductors were recovered.
Similarly, on 18 May 2020, troops of Strong Response Area Ngoshe while on patrol intercepted a woman named Maryam Ali in the bush.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the woman was abducted by Boko Haram criminals 5 years ago after they killed her husband. She further revealed that her escape from Boko Haram criminals was made possible by the devastating artillery and mortar bombardments on the Boko Haram criminals enclave in Gava, Gwoza LGA of Borno State by Nigerian Army troops that killed 15 of the insurgents while many others including herself suffered various degrees of wounds.
She has been moved to a medical facility for further management after first aid treatment administered on her atnthe spot.
Enenche further disclosed that troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE on 19th of May, 2020 raided a suspected armed bandits’ hideout at Sai in Katsina Ala LGA of Benue State which led to the arrest of one of the key members of Gana militia group named Vandegha Mallika who has been on the wanted list of security agencies for the past 2 years.
According to the General, preliminary investigations revealed that the suspect had participated in several kidnappings, armed robberies, extortions and other forms of banditry activities mostly in Benue State adding that the suspect recently threatened to assassinate the ruler (Ter) of Katsina Ala and burn his palace over the ruler’s opposition to Gana’s criminal activities.
John stated that insurgents and criminals are running in disarray all over the nation as the Nigeria Army has intensified and sustain operations to bring an end to their criminal activities in the currently.
Army Neutralize Several BHT/ISWAP in Borno State
The Army in Nigeria has said that its troops of Operation Lafiya Dole has neutralized scores of terrorist criminals in the month of May, where troops of Army Super Camp 6 and 7 conducted a long range fighting patrol on 11 May 2020 and cleared Adzunge and adjoining villages in the ongoing subsidiary Operation KANTANA JIMLAN.
The Coordinator Defence Media Operations, Maj. General John Enenche in a press release also stated that troops of Special Response Area Pulka with the Civilian Joint Task Force and hunters ambushed a set of the terrorists on 13 May 2020 along Pulka-Boko- Kirawa road where Eight (8) BHT/ISWAP fighters were killed while 10 Motorcycles and assorted food items were captured.
He further revealed that on 15 May 2020 troops of 192 Bn ambushed BHT/ISWAP fighters relocating from Sambisa forest to Mandara mountains due to heavy air and artillery bombardments. Five (5) of of them were killed, 3 AK 47 rifles and 17 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, one pair of BHT/ISWAP uniform, two cartridges and other clothing materials were recovered.
Elsewhere on the same day, troops of 22 Brigade deployed at Dikwa in conjunction with troops from Quick Response Area neutralized 2 terrorists who attempted to attack the troops location from Boboshe. Others fled with gunshot wounds. One AK 47 rifle and one magazine with 15 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition were recovered.
Enenche stated that between 19 and 20 May 2020, following Gajigana attack, troops of 7 Division Garrison, 195 and 212 Battalions with Vigilantes exploited and discovered 5 terrorists killed in action. Five AK 47 rifles, 2 BHT gun trucks, 1 anti aircraft gun, 6 assorted magazines, 250 rounds of 12.7 mm, 61 rounds of 7.62 mm and 2 hand grenades were recovered.
In another operation, troops of Special Response Area Pulka with Civilian Joint Task Force and hunters, ambushed the terrorists on 20 May 2020 along Pulka-Dirgi-Banki general area. In the encounter 2 BHT/ISWAP fighters were killed while others escaped with One AK 47 loaded with 30 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition was recovered.
Furthermore, on 21 May 2020 troops of 81 Division Task Force under 22 Brigade and 153 Task Force Bn with Civilian Joint Task Force cleared Mugdala village. During the operation 8 BHT/ISWAP terrorists were killed. One AK 47 rifle, One Dane gun, 3 BHT flags, 2 bicycles,2 Techno cell phones, 2 memory cards and other phone accessories were recovered.
Equally, troops of 202 Bn and Special Armoured Brigade Garrison Bama, based on credible intelligence sprung an ambush on 22 May 2020 at BHT/ISWAP crossing point along Bama Aulari road. Three (3) BHT/ISWAP terrorists were neutralised and others escaped with gunshot wounds. In all, a total of 35 BHT/ISWAP terrorists were killed in Sector 1 offensives between 11 and 22 May 2020.
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