Nigeria had refused to let Chadian troops continue with their campaign to recapture territories controlled by Boko Haram, Reuters reported yesterday.
In a span of six weeks the Chadian troops had been able to recapture Malam Fatori and Damasak on the border with Niger Republic and Gamboru and Ngala on the Cameroonian border.
They also sacked the insurgents from the ancient town of Dikwa, bringing them within 45 kilometres of Bama, Borno state’s second largest town.
But diplomats told Reuters it would be an embarrassment to President Goodluck Jonathan who is seeking re-election, for a smaller nation to tackle Nigeria’s security problems.
Reuters said in their forward base in the town of Gamboru on the Nigeria-Cameroon border, Chadian soldiers displayed dozens of guns seized from Boko Haram and a burnt-out armoured vehicle painted with black and white Arabic script.
“We turned back because Nigeria did not authorise us to go any further,” army spokesman Colonel Azem Bermandoa said.
Nigeria’s spokesman for operations in the northeast, Mike Omeri, said cooperation between Chadian and Nigerian forces had brought some major military adding that successes and any issues would be resolved via existing command structures.
But the Chadians say there have been no joint operations between the two forces. Chad’s offer to join a Nigerian offensive to capture Baga, site of one of Boko Haram’s worst atrocities in January, was rebuffed, Bermandoa said.
Officials from Chad, Niger and Cameroon say lack of cooperation from Nigeria has for months hampered efforts to put together a regional taskforce against Boko Haram.
Chad was compelled to take unilateral action in January, under a deal that allows it to pursue terrorists into Nigeria, after Boko Haram violence started to choke off imports to its economy.
With Niger and Cameroon deploying thousands of troops on their borders, blocking escape routes for Boko Haram, the tide may be turning.
Francois Conradie, analyst with South African-based NKC Research, told Reuters that if the current offensive could be sustained, Boko Haram could quickly be driven out of the remaining towns it holds.
He warned that the sect would, however, remain a deadly rural guerrilla force.
What do you think about this? Share your thought with others in the comment section below.
To contact us for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org