89 Soldiers Killed As Terrorists Attack Niger Military Camp

 

A jihadist attack on a military camp in western Niger three days ago left 89 soldiers dead, according to a new toll announced by the government on public radio Sunday.

“After a thorough search, the toll has been established as 89 dead among friendly forces, and 77 dead for the enemy,” said spokesman Zakaria Abdourahame.

Three days of national mourning have been declared to honour the dead.

The previous toll given for Thursday’s attack on the Chinegodar camp was 25 soldiers killed.

Heavily armed assailants had stormed the military base in an area where dozens also died in a previous jihadist attack.

The raid near to the volatile frontier with Mali was carried out by attackers in vehicles and on motorbikes.

The attack happened in the same region Tillaberi, also bordering Burkina Faso, where 71 Niger soldiers were killed in a December attack, claimed by the Islamic State group, that saw hundreds of jihadists storm a camp near the border with Mali with artillery.

The latest attack is the deadliest on Niger’s military since Islamist extremist violence began to spill over from neighbouring Mali in 2015.

The December attack spurred leaders of the G5 Sahel nations to call for closer cooperation and international support in the battle against the Islamist threat.

Militant violence has spread across the vast Sahel region, especially in Burkina Faso and Niger, having started when armed Islamists revolted in northern Mali in 2012.

Thousands of civilians have also died and more than a million have been forced to flee their homes since the jihadist revolt began.

Analysts note an escalation in the jihadists’ operational tactics, which seem to have become bolder and more complex in recent months.

Ranged against them are the impoverished armies of Chad, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, plus a 4,500-man French force in the Sahel and the 13,000-man UN force in Mali, MINUSMA.

The Sahel region of Africa lies to the south of the Sahara Desert and stretches across the breadth of the African continent.

AFP

Death Toll In Burkina Faso Military Base Attack Rises To 24

 

The death toll from an attack Monday on a military base in northern Burkina Faso rose to 24, the military said, in an unprecedented blow to the army in its campaign against jihadist insurgents.

Seven people were wounded and five others missing, armed forces headquarters said in a statement Tuesday.

The previous toll from the attack, at Koutougou in Soum province near the border with Mali, had been given late Monday as “more than a dozen”.

An “extraordinary meeting of the defence council” was underway at the presidential palace in the capital Ouagadougou, a security source told AFP.

The country’s main opposition party, the Union for Progress and Change (UPC), said the government-appointed by President Roch Marc Christian Kabore had “completely failed”.

It called for a “new team, whose prime task will be to defend the territorial integrity and protect the public.”

Monday’s attack came four days after suspected jihadists raided a village in the restive north, killing 15 people, plundering and burning shops.

A former French colony that ranks among one of the poorest countries in the world, Burkina Faso has been struggling with an Islamist revolt since 2015, which began in the north but has since spread to the east, near the border with Togo and Benin.

Most of the attacks have been attributed to the Ansarul Islam group, which emerged near the Mali border in December 2016, and to the Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM), which has sworn allegiance to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

Those groups are believed to have been responsible for around 500 deaths. Burkina’s capital Ouagadougou has been attacked three times.

The source said the base was attacked Monday by “several dozen terrorists” who arrived aboard motorbikes and pickup trucks.

“It’s clearly an attack that was well-prepared and coordinated by several terrorist groups. They fired heavy weapons, including rockets, which set fire to several installations, transport and weaponry,” the source said.

Previously, the heaviest Islamist attack against Burkina’s army left 12 soldiers dead at Nassoumbou, also in Soum province, in December 2016.

In March 2018, a jihadist attack on the military headquarters in Ouagadougou left eight dead.

Around 238,000 people have fled their homes, according to UN figures published on August 15.

France has deployed 4,500 troops in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad in a mission codenamed Barkhane to help local forces flush out jihadists.

Burkina Faso has also joined four other Sahel nations (Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger) in a French-supported initiative aimed at creating a joint 5,000-troop anti-terror force.

AFP

ICYMI: All Over The World, The Military Rarely Discloses Figures Of Its Casualties – Adesina

The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina says the military all over the world rarely and does not give information on its casualties.

The presidential adviser said this during an interview on Channels Television programme, Sunday Politics.

When questioned on the conflicting figures in circulation on the actual number of deaths in the attacks by Boko Haram at the military camp base in Metele, Guzamala, Borno State, Adesina said it is a standard procedure not to release the number of casualties in a military attack.

“There is a standard procedure, when things like that happen you don’t go out to talk immediately. You have to reach the Next of Kin. You need to first get them to be aware of what happened to their people before you then speak officially.

“There is a standard procedure for the military to do this.

“All over the world, the military does not or rarely discloses the figure of its casualties, it’s not just in Nigeria,” he said.

Although Adesina described the situation as sad and unfortunate, he said the attack on the military base is not enough to conclude that the insurgents now have control over the region.

Speaking further on the conflicting number of casualties recorded in the recent attacks, he said it is the responsibility of the military to give an authoritative figure of the casualties, not the presidency.

“The Presidency did not mention any figure. It is not for the presidency to mention a figure, it is for the military because it is purely a military thing.

“It is the military who can give you an authoritative figure in terms of casualties, not the presidency,” he said.

However, Mr Adesina’s statement has generated reactions as fact check shows that on the contrary, it is a standard practice by governments of developed countries to inform citizens on the number of casualties during military battles.

The United States Department of Defence, on its website, gave up-to-date information on casualty figure in different US military operations. American war and military operations casualties with the lists and statistics are also released in a 48-page pdf document.

The United Kingdom on the government website also provided information on casualty figures of military officers, including the cause of death.

The government of Canada on its website honour the members of the Canadian Armed Forces who lost their lives in the line of duty, releasing the details and number of their fallen heroes.

France also has a dedicated website where they keep the database of military officers who died in different battles.

Niger Govt. Sets Up Committee To Investigate Military Invasion

Sani Bello, Niger State, MilitaryA three-man committee has been constituted by the Security Council headed by the Secretary to the Niger State Government (SSG) to look into the military invasion of some communities in Bosso Local Government Area of the state.

This comes after the military in Niger State invaded Lunko, Kopa and environ villages in Bosso Local Government Area of the state at about 1:00am local time on Thursday.

The Government has requested for feedback on the incident within 24 hours.

According to a statement by the State Commissioner of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Jonathan Vatsa, the government, after an emergency State Security Council meeting on Friday, directed an extensive investigation into the remote and immediate cause(s) of the unfortunate incident, with the aim of having a permanent solution and forestalling future occurrence of such act.

The council also directed that residents of the affected villages, community leaders, party chieftains, religious leaders and political office holders in the area should embrace peace and assist the committee by proffering suggestions that would bring lasting solution and guarantee an enduring peace in the area and the state at large.

The council, while commiserating with the families of those who lost their lives, appealed to the military to ensure strict adherence to rules of engagement while assuring them of government’s resolve to recover the missing arms during the unfortunate incident.

As normalcy returns to the affected area, the council appealed to members of the public to go after their lawful duties, avoid engaging in any act capable of breaching peace of the state and report any suspicious person or movement to appropriate authorities.

The armed soldiers drawn from the 31 Artillery Brigade in Minna and the Air Force base in Bosso, allegedly stormed the villages in a brutal commando style, waking the sleeping villagers, causing distress and inflicting pains on them.