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Nigeria denies territorial violation by foreign forces

nigeria
Chad and Niger have reportedly conducted air and ground assaults inside northeastern Nigeria

Nigeria on Monday denied that Chadian and Nigerien troops had carried out air and land attacks onBoko Haram hideouts inside its territory.

“Much as we value and appreciate the ongoing collaborative effort of the troop-contributing nations of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), there has been no compromise of any aspect of Nigeria’s sovereignty or soil to any foreign force,” Nigerian army spokesman Chris Olukolade tweeted.

He insisted that ongoing counter-terrorism operations in the country’s northeast were “comprehensively driven” by the Nigerian army.

“Other members of the MNJTF have so far successfully denied the common enemy freedom of trans-border operations,” said Olukolade.

“This is in consonance with the idea of the multinational coalition initiated as far back as 1998,” he explained.

Army and local vigilante sources, however, have confirmed air and ground assaults by Chad and Niger that targeted Boko Haram hideouts in the Abadam and Damasak local council areas of Nigeria’s northeastern Borno State.

“Yesterday, troops from Chad and Niger entered Nigerian territory to conduct air and land operations that resulted in the death of several militants,” a Nigerian army official told the Anadolu Agency earlier Monday.

He noted that Abadam shared a border with Niger “and, due to the porous nature of the border, it is really hard for such operations not to see foreign troops step into our territory.”

Jubrin Gunda, a spokesman for the local Civilian Joint Task Force vigilante group, also confirmed the operations.

“Boko Haram militants are running for cover even though several of them died in the air raids that took place along the Abadam and Damasak local government areas,” he told AA.

“At the moment, those who survived the raids are heading in the direction of Gwoza, where they have amassed in past weeks following military operations,” said Gunda.

Several militants have been killed and others are on the run after troops from Chad and Niger troops carried out air and ground attacks on Boko Haram hideouts in the Abadam and Damasak local council areas of Nigeria’s northeastern Borno State, army and local vigilante sources have said.

“Yesterday, troops from Chad and Niger entered Nigerian territory to conduct air and land operations that resulted in the death of several militants,” a Nigerian army official told the Anadolu Agency on Monday.

He said Abadam shared a border with Niger “and, due to the porous nature of the border, it is really hard for such operations not to see foreign troops step into our territory.”

Jubrin Gunda, a spokesman for the local Civilian Joint Task Force vigilante group, also confirmed the attacks.

“Boko Haram militants are running for cover even though several of them died in the air raids that took place along the Abadam and Damasak local government areas,” he told AA.

“At the moment, those who survived the raids are heading in the direction of Gwoza, where they have amassed in the past weeks following military operations,” said Gunda.

Since 2009, Nigeria has battled a fierce Boko Haram insurgency that has ravaged the country’s volatile northeast and left thousands dead.

A seemingly emboldened Boko Haram recently stepped up its militant activity, seizing several areas of Nigeria’s Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, where it has declared a self-styled “Islamic caliphate” with Gwoza as its headquarters.

Boko Haram recently mounted several deadly attacks in neighboring countries – including Niger, Cameroon and Chad – prompting the latter to launch a joint counterterrorism campaign endorsed by the African Union and other regional bodies.

“This campaign against terror only makes provisions for collaboration and cooperation, not incursions into territories. I think our neighbors should try to watch what terms they use,” Nigerian defense spokesman Chris Olukolade told AA, commenting on the reports.

He noted that a reinvigorated Multinational Joint Task Force had farmed out areas of operations to the two collaborating armies.

“Nigerian troops are also involved in operations along that corridor,” Olukolade said.

The spokesman urged the regional allies to “avoid divisive tendencies” as they carried out counterterrorism operations.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has recently lashing out at the leaders of Chad and Niger.

“Oh rulers of Africa, and you claim to be Muslims? Oh you Mahamadou Issoufou, president of Niger; Oh you Idriss Deby, president of Chad – don’t you see [Nigerian President] Jonathan, how he has failed in the fight against us?” he said in a 12-minute video subtitled in English and Arabic.

Shekau accused them of allying with the West against fellow Muslims.

The top militant pledged on Saturday allegiance to “Daesh,” the militant group that now controls large areas of Syria and Iraq.

 

 Neydek
Times of Turkey

Times of Turkey

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