Boko Haram: Bodies Found In Mass Grave At Damasak

boko haramA mass grave containing at least 70 bodies has been found in a town recently recaptured from Boko Haram, Niger and Chad soldier report.

The soldiers said the bodies were found in Damasak in Mobbar Local Government Area of Borno State in north-eastern Nigeria, a town they entered on Saturday.

Nigeria’s troops had renewed their onslaught against the Boko Haram terrorist after the nation’ general elections were shifted by six weeks to March 28 and April 11.

In an interview with the BBC, Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, predicted that all territories would be taken back from the Boko Haram within a month.

“They are getting weaker and weaker by the day,” he said.

The victims, many with their throats slits and some decapitated, may have been killed some time ago, reports suggest.

Chadian army Colonel, Azem Bermandoa Agouna, said he had visited the grave and seen “about 100 bodies spread under a bridge just outside the town”.

Together with the Nigerian Army, forces from Chad, Niger and Cameroon are involved in an offensive against the Islamic militants who are controlling parts of north-eastern Nigeria.

In the renewed offensive, two out of three states, where the Boko Haram terrorists have been trying to establish an Islamic State, have been reclaimed from the Boko Haram terrorists.

Nigeria is preparing to hold presidential elections on 28 March and the Armed Forces, including the Multi Natonal Joint Task Force (MJTF) have reclaimed many towns that have been captured by the terrorist group.

Military Denies Report Of Discord With Allied Forces

 militaryThe Defense Headquarters has refute reports of frustrating the efforts of troops from neighboring countries, who are part of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) undertaking counter-terrorism operations in the north-east.

A spokesman for the Military, Major General Chris Olukolade, said on Wednesday that the current tide of events in the fight against the insurgents was conceived and being driven by the Nigerian Military but enjoys the backing of the reinvigorated MNJTF with troops from Chad,Cameroon and Niger.

Major General Olukolade said such claims were aimed at driving a wedge between the Nigerian Military and Allied Forces, which could be detrimental to the operations and relationships.

“The Defense Headquarters is concerned that its operations are being undermined by a false report of discord between the Nigerian Military and its allies,” he said.

General Olukolade explained that “outside the latitudes allowed by the operational guidelines of the MNJTF, the sovereignty of Nigeria has not been compromised”.

The spokesman promised that the Nigeria Military would not be deterred, as its operations would continue on all fronts, including aerial bombardment of identified hideouts and ground operations of terrorists.

However, the Nigerian Military and the Allied Forces have successfully reclaimed territories that have been captured by the Boko Haram terrorist group.

The Defense Headquarters last week said troops flushed out Boko Haram terrorists from Gulag, Madagali Local Government Area in Adamawa State and Bara in Gulani LGA in neighboring Yobe State.

 

Jonathan Meets Presidents Of Congo, Equatorial Guinea

presidentPresident Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria on Monday met with the President of the Republic of Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso and the President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Mbasogo and held discussions on issues of common interest to the countries.

The visit by the two Presidents is a consolidation of a decision made by the Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), during their summit in Yaunde, Cameroon, on February 16.

The three Presidents reviewed the current security challenges facing some countries of the Economic Communities of West African States (ECOWAS) and Central African Regions, especially terrorism and the menace of the insurgency by Boko Haram.

They unequivocally condemned the insurgency, its destructive activities such as indiscriminate killing of people, the wanton destruction of property, the abduction of innocent women and children, especially young school girls, who had been turned to sex slaves.

The Presidents underscored the imperative of a multi-prolonged approach to fighting the terrorist group and in particular, commended the initiative of the member states of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), for a Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), to combat the Boko Haram insurgency.

They welcomed the active support of the international community, especially the African Union, the United Nations and other partners, for the efforts of the LCBC and the Benin Republic to enable the earliest deployment of the MNJTF.

While underscoring the fact that the MNJTF is wholly owned and driven by the member states of the LCBC, they urged the international community to render necessary material, financial support and assistance to its on-going efforts.

The three Presidents welcomed the proposal to have a joint summit of the ECOWAS and ECCAS to further mobilise international support for the MNJTF.

President Jonathan promised to contact the ECOWAS chairman on the proposal while the visiting presidents promised to relay the positive outcome of the meeting to the other Heads of States and government of the ECCAS.

Nigerian Army Reclaims Baga From Boko Haram

Nigeria military Fighting Boko HaramThe Nigerian military on Saturday, backed by air strikes, recaptured the town of Baga in Borno State, north east Nigeria from Islamist group Boko Haram, the Director, Defence Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade said in a statement.

He also noted that Apart from the 5 anti air craft guns and the rifles captured from the terrorists, over 34 motorcycles and 5 vehicles including trucks being used for operations by the terrorists were destroyed in the course of the fighting as troops headed for Baga.

“A large number of terrorists have drowned in the Lake Chad as they fled the heavy bombardment by Nigerian Air force heralding the advance of Nigerian troops on mission to flush them out of Baga.

“Not even the strategy of mining over 1,500 spots with land mines on the routes leading to the town could save the terrorists from the aggressive move of advancing troops.

“All the land mines were skillfully cleared one after the other. Eventually, the resistance of the terrorists collapsed and the land forces finally stormed the town in the early hours of Friday.

“Many of the terrorists died while an unknown but substantial number of them fled with various degrees of injury, in the series of encounter along the routes of advance, as troops headed for Baga”, he maintained.

The Defence Spokesperson further noted that “similar exercise is being carried out in over 15 locations namely Gajigana, Ngaze, Ngenzai, Marte Junction, Mile 90, Yoyo, Kekeno, Kukawa, Cross Kauwa, Kangarwa, Amirari, Kichimatari, Borokari Barati, Kauwa and other localities where troops have flushed out the terrorists in the operations preceding the entry to Baga.

“The troops are now dominating and conducting aggressive patrols in the locations”, he added, insisting that the “morale of troops remain high”.

Baga is situated at Nigeria’s border with Chad, Niger and Cameroon and it was the headquarters of a Multi National Joint Task Force comprising troops from all four countries.

The Nigerian Military had said it was updating tactics against the Boko Haram Sect, with the addition of 260 Aerospace Engineers that graduated from the Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) in Kaduna State to the Air Force.

Boko Haram Attacks Military Base In Baga, Borno

Boko HaramSuspected members of the Boko Haram attacked the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) base in Baga, Borno State on Saturday morning.

A senior security official confirmed the incident to journalists in Maiduguri, the state capital.

He refereed to the attack as one of the fiercest in recent times as soldiers battled to repel the insurgents.

Eyewitnesses said that the attack started around 5am when residents started hearing gunshots as the insurgents tried to gain entrance into the MNJTF premises.

Many civilians living in the barracks were said to have been killed during the attack.

Defense and military chiefs from the six countries that make up the Lake Chad Basin Commission created the MNJTF in 1998 to combat terrorism, arms trafficking and related cross-border crimes that have continued to rise in the region.

The MNJTF, since its establishment, has been a major threat to the operations of the Boko Haram, hence the continued attack on the base and the town with a view to having full control of the area.

The force is made up of troops from Nigeria as well as Niger and Chad.