Wednesday, 20 August 2014
Boko Haram: Nigerian Soldiers 'Mutiny Over Insufficient Weapons'
A group of soldiers in north-eastern Nigeria is refusing to fight Islamist Boko Haram militants until they receive better equipment, one of the mutineers has told the BBC.
The soldier, who requested anonymity, said at least 40 of his colleagues would refuse orders to deploy.
A defence ministry spokesman said the incident was being investigated.
A state of emergency that was declared in three north-eastern states last year has failed to curb the insurgency.
Boko Haram is fighting to create an Islamic state in Nigeria - and has stepped up its attacks after being pushed out of its bases in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, targeting towns and villages in deadly raids.
"Soldiers are dying like fowl," the soldier, who said he and his colleagues were just outside Maiduguri, told the BBC Hausa service.
"The Nigerian army is not ready to fight Boko Haram," he said, explaining that soldiers were not being given enough weapons and ammunition to take them on.
"Boko Haram are inside the bush, everywhere," he said "They [senior commanders] are sacrificing soldiers," he said.
Defence ministry spokesman Gen Chris Olukolade told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme that he could not confirm the reports of a mutiny but would investigate.
He denied that soldiers were being "sent to die".
"We may not have all it takes but we are improving on it [equipment] regularly," he said.