16 May 2018

Nigeria: Army in 'Final Push' to Dislodge Boko Haram in Lake Chad

Photo: The Guardian
Nigerian army.

The Nigerian Army says it has lunched a new operation to 'totally flush out' the remnants of Boko Haram insurgents in the Lake Chad region.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Burutai, told a news conference in Maiduguri that Operation Last Hold had an August 31, 2018 date to dislodge the terrorists.

Represented by the Commander of Operation Last Hold, Maj.-Gen. Abba Dikko, he noted that the exercise was intended to facilitate the clearance of Lake Chad waterways.

He said: "It will also ensure the destruction of Boko Haram terrorist camps and strong points in the Lake Chad Basin general area. The operation will also facilitate the rescue of hostages."

Buratai said that the military was determined to consolidate on its "recent gains in the ongoing push especially in the northern most part of Borno.

"Operation Last Hold is expected to last for four months and it will entail deployment of additional manoeuvre brigades and other critical assets in Borno State.

" The end-state of Operation Last Hold is the total defeat of the Boko Haram terrorist sect in northern Borno. This will pave way for the return of the local administration and people to their responsibilities and communities."

Meanwhile, Buratai has commissioned projects worth millions of naira executed by the troops of 23 Brigade Yola under the Exercise Ayem Akpatuma in Ibi Local Council of Taraba State.

During the commissioning which heralded the presence of top government functionaries, traditional rulers, the COAS said the projects were part of the civil-military cooperation in the state.

His words: " As part of the exercise, the Army Headquarters directed that some civil-military cooperation (CIMIC) activities should be conducted."

Reiterating the military's readiness to combat security challenges, Buratai said: "We are not unaware of the fact that modern military operations take place in a complex environment characterised by inadequate infrastructure and economic empowerment.

" Globally, the modern armies of the 21st Century operate facing challenges of the rule of law, use of minimum force, human rights abuse and limited understanding of civil-military relations."

In a related development, the COAS has charged his men to wipe out in three weeks the bandits terrorising Birnin Gwari council area of Kaduna State.

He gave the order during the inauguration of the 2 Battalion Forward Operation Base (FOB).

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