Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Boko Haram: Nigerian Military Set To Reinforce 'Special Forces' To Damboa, Borno State

The leadership of the Nigerian military has concluded arrangement to deploy 600 specially trained commandos in the troubled area of Damboa, Borno State.

A security source said on Tuesday that the military personnel were specially trained within the country for the purpose of strengthening the security presence in Damboa, which is considered as one of the most volatile areas in the North-East.

It was gathered that the military and the soldiers deployed in that part of Borno State had become very skeptical about the sincerity of the people following the ambushing and killing of an army officer, who was commanding the troop.

It was said that the leadership of the military was shocked that the lieutenant-colonel, a Muslim, who was on mission to convince the people to prevail on the insurgents to embrace peace could be killed in an ambush by the same people he was protecting.

The source said that the military leadership had to take the step to send the specially trained forces to the area to replace some of the soldiers with affected morale in the area.

The source said, “The Army is sceptical about the sincerity of the Damboa people. The situation is such that it has become difficult to separate the people of the area from Boko Haram elements in the area. The place is completely infested.

“And that was responsible for the ambushing and killing of the officer, who was in charge of the troops in the area.

“The morale of the troops is seriously affected, with the killing of their commander and there is the need to prevent them from acting irrationally, to boost their morale.

“The officer, who was killed went there to protect the integrity of the nation. Being a Muslim, he had to tell them they were damaging the image of the North.

“He led that soft approach, to plead with the leaders to talk to them about the importance of peace, and to warn anybody who refused would be dealt with.

“A specialised team has been trained to take over from some of the guys on the ground. Six hundred of them are ready for deployment now. It is a strong force that would boost the morale of those in the area.”

Investigations revealed that the Federal Government had embarked on massive procurement of military hardware from the United States and Russia to address the incessant Boko Haram attacks in the North-East.

It was learnt that the government had imported 40 helicopter gunships from the US and Russia. They are expected to arrive the country first week of August.

The government was also said to have imported mine-resistant tanks required for some planned operations in areas taken over by the insurgents.

The source added that the military had also embarked on massive recruitment of troops in the bid to strengthen the nation’s security forces against the threat of terrorism.

“The Federal Government has purchased some fighter helicopters for this operation; about 40 helicopter gunships have been imported out of which over 30 are from the US while the rest are from Russia.

“They are scheduled to arrive the country in August; the government is embarking on a massive purchase of equipment and recruitment of troops in preparation for the threat. They are doing a lot of recruitment this year,” the source added.

Punch