Friday, 6 February 2015
Nigeria, Chad Sign MoU To Fight Boko Haram
The Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, has put the total number of troops involved in the joint operations between federal troops and the Chadian forces at 7,500 soldiers.
The CDS said the military had deployed 5,000 soldiers to work with a total of between 2,000 to 2,500 forces in the coordinated action against the Boko Haram.
Badeh said this while speaking with journalists at the end of a meeting between the leadership of the nation’s defence sector and the Chief of Defence Staff of Chad, Maj. Gen. Brahim Mahammat, and other top officers from Chad in Abuja on Friday.
He added that the 5,000 soldiers deployed specifically to work with the Chadians were in addition to all Nigerian forces available to fight the insurgents.
The CDS said the Chadian troops had commenced operation from Gamboru Ngala while Nigerian troops were operating from the South with an arrangement to meet somewhere at the centre.
Badeh and his Chadian counterpart signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the ongoing allied operation against the Boko Haram after six hours of a closed-door meeting of senior military and security personnel from the two countries.
But the Defence Chief refused to disclose the details in the MoU for security reasons.
Badeh said the Chadian military delegation was in Abuja to clarify some grey areas involving the operation which were sorted out during the six-hour meeting.
The CDS, who was silent on the number of troops being contributed by the Cameroonian to the joint operation, also declined to speak on the casualty figure suffered by the Cameroonians in the Boko Haram attack on Fotokol, on Wednesday.
He said, “I want you to know that Chadian Forces in Nigerian territory are mostly in the border town of Fotokol and Gamboru Ngala on the basis of the bilateral agreement we signed with them.
“We have been working together since. They came here now to clear some grey areas; that is what we have done. We have just met as an addendum to the MoU that we signed on the January 18.
“I do not want to comment on how many Cameronian soldiers that were killed on that side; let them comment on it themselves.
But I know that Chad is bringing a force of about 2,000 to 2,500. Nigeria is taking all her forces; but specifically to work with the Chadian Forces, we have 5,000 to work with them and that is what we have there.
“The contribution from Cameroun, I am not very sure of that for now. The Nigerien Forces, the MOU we have with Niger, they are on their own side so that the Boko Haram or the enemies won’t have the opportunity to run into Niger to go and cause havoc there.”
Badeh said the meeting with the Chadian Defence forces should have come up earlier especially with the urgent need to solve the problem of insurgency as the nation moves into elections.