Nigeria, Chad, Niger commence joint onslaught against Boko Haram
Poised to quell the lingering insurgency, nations around the Lake Chad basin, Nigeria, Chad and Niger have commenced a joint “massive” onslaught against Boko Haram.
According to the Voice of America, tweeting at voanews.com, the joint offensive is a renewed operation following the inadequacies of the multinational force of countries around Lake Chad to counter the militants.
The coordinated offensive against militants which commenced on Thursday with Nigerian troops will be followed by similar onslaught launched by troops of Nigeria, Niger and Chad.
The joint onslaught, according to the Nigerian military, was informed by collaborative terrorist attacks between Boko Haram and a splinter group affiliated to the Islamic State group on contiguous nations of the Lake Chad Basin.
Chad had, on Tuesday, expressed its readiness, with the nation’s defence minister, stating that the country had deployed forces across its neighbours’ borders to battle insurgents who killed almost 100 Chadian soldiers last month.
The militants on March 23 killed at least 98 Chadian soldiers in an attack on an island army base in Lake Chad.
Chadian President, Idriss Deby Itno, declared the surrounding area a “war zone” as he pledged a “lightning response” to the killings.
Chad had earlier withdrawn some 1,200 troops from Nigeria in January after a months-long mission battling the terrorists.
The joint operation comes on the back series of meetings involving Presidents of Chad, Niger, Nigeria and the Central African Republic with the intention to overhaul strategies to counter Boko Haram and other security threat in order to stabilise the region.
The ultimate aim of the new offensive is to rout the safe haven of Boko Haram in any of the nations and on any side of their borders.
Over the years, Islamist terrorists have established camps and launched attacks on military and civilians on nations around the Lake Chad Basin.
The 10-year revolt ha left at least 36,000 dead and displaced around 1.8 million people in northeast Nigeria alone.