Update NEWS24 29 JULY 2015: French soldiers of Barkhane operation patrol in Diffa, southeastern Niger, a city-turned-garrison near the border with Boko Haram’ bastion in Nigeria. (Issouf Sanogo, AFP)
Today, 05:49 AM AFP
Abuja – A new regional force tasked with fighting Boko Haram jihadists should go into action very soon, Nigeria’s military spokesperson told AFP on Tuesday, though he did not specify when for tactical reasons.
The Multi-National Joint Task Force will replace a regional offensive that has scored a number of victories against the Nigeria-based militants since February.
But Boko Haram has stepped up its attacks since Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in in May, unleashing a wave of violence that has claimed 800 lives in just two months.
The 8 700-strong force is expected to be more efficient than the current offensive, which is battling a six-year insurgency that has killed some 15 000 people.
“Any moment from now, the operations or the Task Force will be manifest. In other words, we may not tell you [when it will commence], you will just see it,” Nigeria’s military spokesperson Major General Chris Olukolade told AFP.
“The mission has been sectorised, various sector commanders have been briefed, the briefing is ongoing at different levels… the aspect of the Nigerian force that will be part of the Multinational Joint Task Force has been designated,” Olukolade added.
The force will have its headquarters in Cameroonian capital N’Djamena, which the Nigerian president will visit starting on Wednesday for talks on the offensive.
Few details have emerged on the specific nature of the new force, raising concerns its deployment may face delays.
The Nigerian general who had initially been named to lead the force, Tukur Yusuf Buratai, has since been appointed Chief of Staff of Nigeria’s military.
No one has been nominated to replace him as yet.
On Page 76 of the GOD SAID 2015 the following Prophetic word was released concerning Boko Haram in Nigeria was released.
Prophecy Fulfilled: South African mercenaries’ secret war on Boko Haram
By Colin Freeman, Abuja
9:20PM BST 10 May 2015
Mercenaries from South Africa have proved quietly decisive in helping the Nigerian military turn around its campaign against Boko Haram, writes Colin Freeman in Abuja
With their roots in South Africa apartheid-era security forces, they do not fit the standard image of an army of liberation. But after just three months on the ground, a squad of grizzled, ageing white mercenaries have helped to end Boko Haram’s six-long year reign of terror in northern Nigeria.
Run by Colonel Eeben Barlow, a former commander in the South African Defence Force, the group of bush warfare experts were recruited in top secrecy in January to train an elite strike group within Nigeria’s disorganised, demoralised army.
Some of the guns-for-hire cut their teeth in South Africa’s border wars 30 years ago. But their formidable fighting skills – backed by their own helicopter pilots flying combat missions – have proved decisive in helping the military turn around its campaign againstBoko Haram in its north-eastern strongholds.
The Islamists have now fled many of the towns they once controlled, leading to the freeing of hundreds of girls and women last week who were used by Boko Haram as slaves and bush wives.