Ex-Chad leader Hissene Habre appeals crimes against humanity conviction

Chad’s former president Hissene Habre began an appeal Monday against his life sentence for war crimes and crimes against humanity after a conviction hailed as a landmark for Africa.

The Extraordinary African Chambers, a body created by Senegal and the African Union, sentenced Habre in May to life behind bars, an unprecedented ruling seen as a blow to the impunity long enjoyed by repressive rulers.

Habre, who ruled Chad from 1982 to 1990, was not present in the dock on Monday as proceedings opened around 10am (1000 GMT).

“The defence seeks an exemption from the appearance of the accused,” the president of the appeal court Wafi Ougadeye said.

Habre, 74, has refused to recognise the court’s authority but his court-appointed lawyers requested an appeal on his behalf.

“We were motivated to appeal by violations of the law and (the rights) of the defence and procedural errors,” lawyer Mbaye Sene told AFP before the trial opened, saying he didn’t want to reveal their “strategy”.

The hearing was expected to last several days, with the final decision expected by April 30.

The verdict will be final. If his conviction is upheld, Habre will serve his sentence in Senegal or in another AU country.

– ‘Verdict that gave hope’ –
The verdict brought closure for relatives of up to 40,000 people killed and many more kidnapped, raped or tortured during Habre’s time as president.

“The trial of Hissene Habre last year was the result of a tireless battle by thousands of victims and their relatives to ensure justice for crimes under international law committed in Chad between 1982 and 1990,” said Gaetan Mootoo, West Africa researcher at Amnesty International.

“It gave hope to others around the world that it is possible to end impunity even where it is most entrenched,” he said in a statement ahead of the appeal.

In July, Habre was further ordered to pay up to 30,000 euros ($33,000) to each victim who suffered rape, arbitrary detention and imprisonment during his rule, as well as to their relatives.

The trial set a global precedent as the first time a country had prosecuted the former leader of another nation for rights abuses, said US lawyer Reed Brody, who has worked with the victims of the Habre regime since 1999.

“The appeals court now needs to make sure that a system is put in place so that Habre’s assets can be located, seized and transferred to his victims to compensate them for what they have suffered,” he said in a statement this week.

Known as a skilled desert fighter and often dressed in combat fatigues to fit the role, Habre fled to Senegal after his 1990 ouster by Chad’s current President Idriss Deby.

For more than 20 years, the former dictator lived freely in an upmarket Dakar suburb with his wife and children.

NNPC Considers Crude Importation From Chad, Niger Republic For Kaduna Refinery

As part of the efforts to address frequent disruptions to the supply of crude oil to the Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company (KRPC) as a result of the Niger Delta militancy, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is considering importing crude oil from Chad and Niger Republic, investigations have revealed.

This is coming as the President of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Qatar’s Energy Minister, Mohammed Al Sada, has stated that oil prices would rebound during the third and fourth quarters of 2016.

NNPC, it was learnt, is also considering the option of using railway transportation to move crude from the Niger Delta to the refinery complex.

A top official of the NNPC, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, disclosed yesterday that the corporation might refit the Kaduna refinery to be able to process Nigerien and Chadian crude grades, following the incessant attacks on the pipelines that feed the plant with Nigerian Bonny Light crude.

According to him, the refinery was originally designed to process Nigerian crude and foreign heavy crude at the ratio of about 70:30.

Read More: Thisday


Buhari Goes To Chad For Deby’s Inauguration

President Muhammadu Buhari will join other Heads of State and Government today in N’Djamena for the inauguration ceremony of President Idriss Deby of Chad.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, made this known in a statement yesterday.

President Deby won the presidential election in April.
He said Buhari would be accompanied on the one-day trip by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State and Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State.
He said Buhari’s delegation would also include Senator Baba Kaka Garba, Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno, Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama and the National Security Adviser, retired Major-General Babagana Monguno.
Adesina said Buhari would return to Abuja after the inauguration.

Credit: DailyTrust

FG Opens Talks With Chad, Niger On Return Of Boko Haram Refugees

The Federal Government has opened discussion with Chad and Niger authorities on the date Boko Haram refuges residing in the two countries would return to Nigeria.
This comes as the government  deployed 3000 policemen and 2,000 civil defence personnel in towns and villages reclaimed from the Boko Haram sect in Borno and Yobo states.
“We have made some deployments of police and civil defence; 3,000 policemen and 2,000 civil defence men are in towns and communities in the North East”, a source at the presidency and Ministry of Defence.
He lamented that the deployment of security personnel followed what he called some negative developments in the freed areas.
According to him, it was discovered that Boko Haram members were returning to communities liberated by the military, explaining that the government had to act swiftly to check the ugly development.
“We have met with Chad and Niger on the return of refugees that reside there,” the source said.
Meanwhile, major reforms are underway for police and other paramilitary agencies to help refocus and reenergise the parastatals, Daily Sun   gathered.  The reforms, currently  being worked out by a government committee centre mainly on the mode of appointment and selection of new  Inspector General of Police, Comptroller General of Immigration and Prisons.
According to sources,  when the new reforms are concluded, no police, immigration or prisons services officers would be considered for the position of IGP or Comptroller General if he or her has less than a year and six months left to retire from service.
“The new recommendation is that a new IG or Comptroller General of Immigration or Prisons must have up to 18 months before his or her retirement,” one of the sources disclosed.
“The reason for this reform is to ensure that somebody who is being appointed would have enough time to carry out policies and impact on the agency he is heading.
“It is not good that somebody who has less than a year is appointed to the position of IG or Comptroller and thenyou hear the person is pulling out or retiring. His impact would not be felt by his Organisation.”
The source disclosed that a high powered committee set up by the leadership of the Ministry of Interior is working on the new arrangement.
“A committee was set up to work out other details and the committee is doing its job”, he said.
As part of the reform , another source revealed that a bill that that will seek the operation of police academy under a law will be sent to the National Assembly in the next few weeks.
He explained that the move was informed by the realization that there is no law backing the operation of  police academy at the moment.
“Government wants to legalize the operation of police academy. As at today Police Academy is not operating under any law . And that is shameful”, he said.
He said the reforming of the Police, Immigration and Prisons would place emphasis on training of staff and provision of facilities that would help the staff to discharge their duties.
He said “We will have to develop career pattern in our ministry. We have to train Prisons and Immigration staff . There are some staff who have spent 15 to 25 years without undergoing any training. That is absurd.”
On the issue of herdsmen and what the federal government is doing to end the controversies that have trailed their activities in different parts of the country, the source said the  government will soon hold a town-hall meeting on the matter.
According to him, he said that everything effort must be made to ensure that herdsmen do not bear arms and do not engage in fatal confrontation with other Nigerians.

Credit: Sun

Terrorism: Dambazau Off To Cameroon, Chad

The Minister of Interior, Abdurahman Dambazau, left the country yesterday on a three-day visit to Cameroon and Chad.

The Press Secretary to the minister, Osaigbovo Ehisienmen, said Dambazau was accompanied on the trip by the Inspector General of Police, Mr Solomon  E. Arase, the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Mr. Martins Abeshi, the Director General of NEMA, the Solicitor General of the Federation and other top government officials.


The minister’s spokesman also said Dambazau is billed to meet with the Interior ministers of Cameroon and Chad in order to strategize on internal security threats, especially those with cross border effects.

Ehisienmen added that the minister’s interaction is expected to develop into a robust platform for collaborative action, information sharing and improved border security to check inflow of small arms and light weapons, drugs, illegal migration, human trafficking and movement of terrorists across borders.

Credit: dailytrust

11 Chadian Soldiers Killed In Boko Haram Attack

Boko Haram Islamists attacked Chadian soldiers on Tuesday, killing 11 and wounding 13, a Chadian security source said, in the latest deadly raid by the militants despite a regional offensive against them.

The source said 17 Boko Haram fighters also died in the fighting following the pre-dawn strike near the Nigerian border and Lake Chad.

“Boko Haram members attacked our positions at 4:30 am (0330 GMT) in Kaiga Ngouboua about two kilometres (about a mile) from the Nigerian border,” the source said.

“This surprise attack claimed the lives of 11 soldiers and wounded 13 (and) 17 Boko Haram fighters were killed.”

“The attackers were pushed back and the army is continuing search operations in the zone.”

Since the start of the year, the Chadian army has been on the front line of a regional military operation against Boko Haram whose attacks have spread from northeast Nigeria, its traditional stronghold, to the neighbouring countries of Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

Boko Haram, which is affiliated with the Islamic State group operating in Syria and Iraq, has been hit hard by the offensive, losing territory, but has launched attacks and bombings in response.

Cameroon is regularly targeted by suicide bombers.

Attacks also continue unabated in Nigeria, where at least 18 people were killed and 41 injured in twin bombings on Friday on the outskirts of the capital Abuja.

Chad has joined a regional military alliance, alongside Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria, to fight Boko Haram, which has waged a bloody insurgency since 2009 marked by mass abductions, village massacres and suicide bombings by women and teenagers.

Lake Chad is shared between the four countries. Climate change has reduced its surface in recent years, but it contains many islands and islets used by fishermen and its banks have dense vegetation, which makes infiltrations by Boko Haram Islamists into Chad much easier.

At least 17,000 people have been killed and more than 2.5 million made homeless since the Boko Haram insurgency began in 2009.

8,000 Nigerian Refugees In Cameroon, Chad, Niger

The Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency, Muhammed Sidi, at the African Union Regional Consultative Meeting for West Africa in Abuja, disclosed that about 58,000 Nigerians displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency in North-East Nigeria are taking refuge in neighbouring Cameroon, Niger and Chad.

The consultative panel was slated for the development of a common African position for the World Humanitarian Summit.

Mr. Sidi said there were about 57,743 Nigerian refugees in Cameroun, Chad and Niger. Of the number, Mr. Sidi said, Cameroon hosts 40,366 Nigerians who are taking refuge in Minawayo, Mora, Fotocol, Limani, Amchide, Douala, Kentzou and Garoua Bouali.

In Niger Republic, there are 15,000 Nigerian refugees in Diffa, Bosso, Maine and Kablewa, said Mr. Sidi. He added that Ngouboua and Lake Chad region provide shelter for 2,377 Nigerian refugees.

He lamented the expulsion of 12,000 Nigerian refugees by Cameroonian authorities. The expelled refugees “were dumped at the border while UNHCR was watching,” Mr. Sidi said.

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Chad Sentences 10 Boko Haram Members To Death

Chad has sentenced 10 members of Nigeria-based Islamist militant group Boko Haram to death on terrorism charges, judicial sources said on Friday.
“They are all sentenced to death,” said one of the sources.
Chad’s capital N’Djamena, less than 100 kilometres from the Nigerian border, was hit by a series of suicide bombings in June and July that killed more than 40 people.

Source: Trust.org

Defence Chiefs From Nigeria, Cameroon, Others Meet in Chad Over Boko Haram

Nigeria’s defence chief of staff, Gabriel Olonisakin, is currently in Chad Republic to discuss the deployment of 8, 700 strong Multi National Joint Task Force, MNJTF, to confront Boko Haram.

The defence headquarters said in a statement that the Chiefs of Defence Staff from the Lake Chad Basin Commission member countries met in N’Djamena to discuss operational plans against the terrorist group.

The meeting, the defence headquarters said, is focused on finalising details of deployment of a joint force to fight Boko Haram which has sworn allegiance to ISIS and has killed hundreds of people through suicide bombings in the last three months.

“General Olonisakin has been working round the clock towards actualising the presidential directive to end Boko Haram terrorists activities within three months,” Rabe Abubakar, defence spokesperson said in the statement.

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Chadian Police To Arrest Anyone Wearing Full-Face Veil

Chadian police on Sunday warned that anyone found wearing the Muslim full-face veil would be arrested, after a Boko Haram suicide bombing in the capital left 15 dead.

Saturday’s attack in a bustling N’Djamena market by a man disguised as a woman in a full-face veil also injured 80 and spread panic across the city.

“This attack just confirms that a ban” on the full-face veil was justified, national police spokesman Paul Manga said, adding that “it now must be respected more than ever by the entire population.”

“Anyone who does not obey the law will be automatically arrested and brought to justice,” he warned.

The bomber detonated his explosives belt when he was stopped for security checks at the entrance to the city’s main market.

Muslim-majority Chad banned the full-face veil, ramped up security measures and bombed militant positions in Nigeria last month after the first ever Boko Haram attack in its capital.

Soldiers and police forces stand guard at a market in N'Djamena following a suicide bomb attack on July 11, 2015  Brahim Adji (AFP/File)

Security was tightened across the dry and dusty capital on Sunday with police and soldiers deployed in all areas, including intersections, markets and mosques.

Nine of the dead were women traders, and fear still permeated the market on Sunday.

“What was happening elsewhere and what we heard about from media reports is now happening here,” said Zenaba, a woman trader in her forties.

“I’m really scared for me and my children,” she said.

Boko Haram claimed responsibility on Twitter for the suicide bombing, signing off as “Islamic State, West Africa province” — the militants’ self-styled moniker since pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group in March.

Boko Haram’s deadly insurgency has killed at least 15,000 people since 2009 and left more than 1.5 million homeless.

A four-nation coalition of Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon has reportedly pushed out the militants from captured towns and villages in an operation that began in February.

Military Colonel Fights Chad Officials Dirty For Attempting To Remove His Wife’s Veil

There was serious pandemonium in a district in Chad as a top military personnel fought law enforcers dirty over the full-face veil of his wife in public. The Chadian government had earlier on the 17th of June, 2015 banned the use of full-face veil throughout the country. The military officer and his boys descended on the officials who attempted to remove the veil off his wife. It was indeed a drama. See more photos below…

Chad Seizes Suspected Boko Haram Weapons Cache

Chadian security forces, announced that they have seized a large weapon cache including guns, rockets and ammunition in a house in N’Djamena occupied by suspected members of the Boko Haram.

The officials said the weapons, buried under the courtyard of the house in the eastern neighbourhood of Guinebor, were destined for northern Nigeria.

One of the investigators, said on condition of anonymity, that they were part of the weapons that Baana Fanaye, Boko Haram’s logistics chief for northern Cameroon and Chad, was preparing to send to Nigeria.

He said the revelation came during an investigation after Mr. Fanaye was arrested in a raid by Chadian police in June.

State prosecutor, Alghassim Khamis, said the latest arms cache, discovered on Thursday, was found hidden in one of the houses raided on June 27.

He said Chadian authorities arrested 60 suspected militants on June 27 and dismantled their suicide attacks cells.

Mr. Khamis said two days later, five officers and six militants were killed during a raid on an arms cache.

Credit: NAN

Chad Airstrikes Against Boko Haram Not On Our Territory- Nigerian Military

Nigeria has denied claims that Chad conducted air strikes on Nigerian soil, against jihadist sect, Boko Haram. The Defence Headquarters on Thursday said the report was incorrect.

The denial followed a statement by Chad’s military that it carried out a series of air strikes against Boko Haram bases in Nigeria in retaliation for twin suicide bombings on Tuesday in its capital, N’Djamena.

The attack killed at least 34 people, Reuters news agency reported. Chad said the strikes had caused heavy human and material damage to six of the Islamist militants’ bases, according to Reuters.

But the Nigerian military said in a statement by the Director of Defence Information, Chris Olukolade, a Major General, that the Nigerian Air force surveillance mission identified targets tagged, Camp 6, around Bosso town which is not within Nigerian territory, “and alerted the partners, accordingly”.

Mr. Olukolade said the places reported to have been struck by the Chadians were therefore most likely to be in Niger Republic and not Nigeria as widely reported in the international media.

“Although the terms of the multilateral and bilateral understanding with partners in the war against terror allow some degree of hot pursuit against the terrorists, the territory of Nigeria has not been violated as insinuated in the reports circulated in some foreign media,” he said.

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Buhari Condoles Chad, Borno State

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed condolences to the people of Chad, following Monday’s twin suicide bombings which took place in the country’s capital.

The attacks in N’Djamena left some 23 people dead and more than 100 in injured.

Following the attack blamed on the Boko Haram terror group, Buhari has telephoned Chad President Idriss Deby, offering his condolences.

“Chad has been on the frontline of the regional fight against the Boko Haram terrorists,” President Buhari is quoted in a statement by his spokesperson.

“They have stood by us through the worst and most difficult times of the challenges we have faced with terrorism. You also have our support during this difficult time.”

He added that it was sad and pitiful that the terrorists had extended their brutal attacks to the neighbouring country, but expressed hope that it was only a matter of time before the insurgents would be flushed out and dealt with.

The President also consoled the people and government of Borno State over the loss of over 60 lives from explosion triggered by abandoned explosives in Monguno town.

He assured the people of Borno state of the commitment of his administration to degrade the insurgency which had necessitated the relocation of the command centre of the military to its hotbed.

“Crushing Boko Haram will remain a priority of my government,” Buhari said.

Credit: CAJ News

Chad War Planes Bomb Boko Haram After Suicide Attacks

Chad’s military said Thursday it had carried out airstrikes on Boko Haram positions to avenge twin suicide bombings in Chad’s capital that were blamed on the jihadists.

Citing the “cowardly and barbaric acts perpetrated by Boko Haram terrorists”, which killed 33 people in N’Djamena on Monday, the military said that it had “carried out reprisal airstrikes on the terrorists’ positions in Nigerian territory” on Wednesday.

Six Boko Haram bases were destroyed in the air raids, which caused “considerable human and material losses”, the military said in a statement.

Chad would continue its “merciless” pursuit of the insurgents “so that no drop of Chadian blood spilt goes unpunished,” the statement added.

Monday’s attacks on the police headquarters and a police academy in N’Djamena were the first in the capital of the west African country, which has taken a lead role in a regional offensive against Boko Haram.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks but Chad and its allies immediately blamed the Nigeria-based insurgents, who have carried out several attacks recently.

Credit:  AFP

Boko Haram: Pres. Buhari Rejects 6-Month Rotation Of MNJTF Commander

President Buhari today rejected the proposed rotation of the Commander of the Multi National Joint Task Force, a team of military officers drawn from Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria with the main objective of fighting against Boko Haram in the region. While addressing heads of government from these countries in Abuja this morning, Buhari said the rotation of the head of the commander of the MNJTF will undermine the capacity the military capacity to sustain the push against the insurgents.
He advised that Maj.-Gen. Tukur Buratai (Nigerian), who is currently heading the team should be allowed to remain as the commander for the period of the war

“While I agree that this is a joint operation with shared responsibilities, I am, however, of the opinion that military operations that are subjected to rapid turnover of command and control structures, six months duration, as it is being proposed in the documents before us, do not augur well for effectiveness and efficiency. Such a process will undermine, even if it not intended, the military capacity to sustain the push against the insurgents, who also have the uncanny ability to adapt and rejig their operational strategies. I am inclined, on account of the above, to suggest for your excellencies’ consideration that Nigeria retains the position of the Force Commander of the MNJTF for the period of the war effort. This command will be to the effectiveness of military strategy, since Nigeria will be providing the bulk of the troops and the main theater of the war is on Nigerian soil.” he said

He promised to redeem Nigeria’s pledge of $100m for the re-launch of the Multinational Joint Task Force which will be based in the Chadian capital, N’Djamena.

Chad, Cameroun, Others Adopt Buhari’s Proposal For Nigeria To Lead Boko Haram War

An extraordinary meeting of Heads and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and Benin has approved that Nigeria retains the position of the force commander in the war against Boko Haram until the end of the mission.

It also approved that the slot of the deputy force commander and chief of staff be rotated between Cameroun and Chad every twelve months.

Their decision followed an earlier rejection of a rotational six-month tenure of the Multi-National Joint Task Force’s Commander, by Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr. Buhari suggested instead that Nigeria heads the force for the period of the war against the insurgents since it was providing the bulk of troops.

Mr. Buhari had earlier argued that such a process will undermine the military’s capacity to sustain the push against the insurgents “who also have the uncanny ability to adapt and rejig their operational strategies”.

“This command will be to the effectiveness of military strategy, since Nigeria will be providing the bulk of the troops and the main theatre of the war is on Nigerian soil,” he said.

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Boko Haram: Buhari Hosts Chad, Cameroon, Niger, Benin Presidents

As part of the strategy to fight the Boko Haram insurgency, President Muhammadu Buhari will today  host a meeting of Heads of State and Presidents of the Lake Chad Basin Commission in Abuja.

In a bid to perfect Nigerian position for today’s meeting, President Buhari yesterday held a closed door meeting with the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh and the Chief of Naval Staff, Usman Jubrin, at  Defence House.

Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Mr Ismali Aliyu, said they came to brief the president on preparations for a scheduled meeting of Heads of State and Presidents today in Abuja to discuss on the Lake Chad Basin Commission.

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Nigeria’s Defence Chief, Badeh, To Meet Colleagues From Chad, Niger, Others

Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, will be meeting with his colleagues from other member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission to discuss operational process in the fight against Boko Haram.

The meeting, which will take place in Abuja on Tuesday is to enable the defence chiefs work out the processes for strategic combined operations, Chris Olukolade, Nigeria’s defence spokesperson has said.

Mr. Olukolade said this strategy will be a modified version of the Multi-National Joint Task Force in the campaign against terror in the region.

He said the meeting is also preparatory to the Extra-Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Governments of the LCBC member countries to advance multilateral discussion on counter terrorism operations in the sub region.

He said, “Military delegation led by the Chiefs of Defence Staff as well as intelligence and security of Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad are to participate in the meeting along with Benin Republic”.

Mr. Olukolade added that the meeting will later brief the Ministers of Defence of the LCBC countries towards subsequent decisions on the immediate take off of the mission.

He noted that the development is sequel to the recent parleys and contacts between President Muhammadu Buhari and presidents of neighbouring countries in the move to step up the fight against insurgency.


ISIS Will Enter Nigeria, Chad Unless……..

A Nigerian former British police officer and security and governance consultant, Mr Vince Onyekwelu has warned that unless the governments of Nigeria and Niger Republic act immediately, the dreaded Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS terrorists may be on their way into both countries.

Onyekwelu gave the warning yesterday during a live television programme, Sunrise Daily on Channels television where he said that with the capture of the Libyan international airport.

According to him, with the proximity between the borders of Niger, Chad and Libya Nigeria must intensify collaboration with both countries to ensure that the ISIS terrorists so not sneak into the country.

Asked whether Nigerians should be worried that that the ISIS has taken over the Libyan airport responded in the affirmative saying the development should give enough room for concern.

 “Yes, we should be worried because if you look at the distance between Libya and Nigeria the demarcation between Chad and Niger Republic. Now the question is what the Nigerian government is doing to make sure that Niger and Chad are doing enough to protect their border between them and Libya.

“We don’t need to worry much about this but we need to get the immigration agencies of these countries to collaborate and make sure that the borders is well secured because if these criminals into Niger Republic or Chad they are going to be heading into Nigeria so we need to make sure that in this joint task force that we are talking about how do we protect the borders of Chad and Libya, how do we protect the border between Niger Republic and Libya. So we need to protect our own but the bottom line is we should be worried because it seriously worrying,” he said.

Gaidam, Shetimma, Masari, Tambuwal Accompany Buhari To Niger, Chad (PHOTO)

Governors Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State, Kashim Shettima of Borno, Aminu Masari of Katsina and Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto yesterday left for Niger Republic at the beginning of a two-day visit to Niger and Chad Republics.

President Muhammadu Buhari and the governors are to meet with Presidents Muhammadu Yuosufu of Niger Republic and Idriss Deby of Chad respectively to discuss urgent security issues affecting the three countries.

Top on the agenda of the meeting, according to sources, is the nagging issue of Boko Haram militants  who have been carrying out attacks across the three countries. President Buhari had indicated in his inauguration speech that defeating Boko Haram was one of the key security issues that his administration would seek to address early.

Read More: dailytrust

Chad Basin : Oil Prospect Or Agricultural Prosperity? By Ahmad Salkida And Abubakar Kundiri

 If you had to choose the fate of Lake Chad, which would you prefer: an oil and gas rich region or a rich eco-diversity driving prosperity  through agribusiness? President-elect, Muhammad Buhari has dropped the hint that his administration would re-open oil prospecting in the Lake Chad Basin. On a face value, this sounds wise and reassuring to the political elites from the north of the country who not only treasure the allure of petro-wealth but love the idea that oil bragging right could also be theirs.

Lake Chad shoreline had an elevation of about 286 metres (938 ft) above sea level and it had an area of more than 26,000 square kilometres (10,000 sq miles), making its surface the fourth largest in Africa, bigger thaN countries like Israel and Kuwait way back in 1963. Over the years, agriculture have comprised productive activities ranging from livestock to crop cultivations. Farmers produce food, fabrics and wood. From their array of value chain such as dairy products, fish, meat, grain and cotton agric business bring to the table a wide array of employment opportunities not open to any other economic sector.

Unfortunately, the Lake has not only shrunk to over 90% from 1963 to date but it now plays host to the infamous Boko Haram insurgency that has killed, maimed and displaced hundreds of thousands of the lake’s
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC or CBLT in French) maintain that deficit in rainfall, drought, inefficient damming and irrigation methods are mainly responsible for the shrinking lake.

The discoveries of oil in Niger Republic, especially, in the Doba Basin (part of Chad Basin), raises hope of similar discovery in the Nigerian sector of the Chad Basin, and when geologists state with some measure of authority that the Borno Basin and the Benue Trough within Nigeria are all one part of a series of cretaceous and inter rift basins, it leads to the conclusion that discovery of oil and gas was a matter of time. With oil wealth envisaged by all in the region, attention shifted from investments in agriculture in the Lake Chad
region to oil exploration.

According to Solomon Abaa, a leading geologist and former chair Professor of the Petroleum Trust Development Fund (PTDF) center in the University of Maiduguri, Chad Basin constitutes an extensive stretch
of gas shores in Nigeria, “with some 160 trillion cubic feet.” Several exploration activities in Lake Chad indicated huge deposits of oil and gas. But globally trending interest in alternative energy sourcing gradually diminished the prospects of oil as a sustainable source of revenue and wealth for nations. Also, corruption, neglect and resulting conflicts have taken their toll as it is the case in the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria.

While oil revenue remains a strong driver of aggravated corruption in public places, agribusiness is totally different. Agribusiness and eco-diversity as a policy focus for the coming administration will not only create wealth it will ensure that the wealth so created domicile with the people. It ensures that the people are empowered. It ensures that leakages associated with official transactions do not constitute the face of governance in that region of the country. It ensures that employment opportunities are escalated and that other sectors such as  tourism are handed easy triggers for growth.

Lake Chad that covers 8 percent of the surface area of the African continent is stretched around one of the most troubled and poorest parts of the world. The shrinkage of the Lake has been driven by both global and local causes: climate change and vastly increased competing demands on the lake. The depletion of Lake Chad poses a pressing challenge to irrigated agriculture which is an important water consumer and the source of livelihoods for the overwhelming majority of the population. Between 75 and 80 percent of the farming population consists of traditional small holders, producing mainly staple foods for household consumption and with relatively marginal connections to market.

The problem of Lake Chad is actually manifold, ranging from the variability of the hydrological regime to the dramatic decrease in freshwater availability. The relatively high rating of water pollution mainly due to commercial cotton and rice production known to use large quantities of agro-chemicals. Other problems include the low viability of biological resources relating to the inability of the regenerative rates of plant and animal resources to keep pace with exploitation which on its own has aggravated loss of biodiversity as well as
damages to the ecosystem.

The prospects for saving Lake Chad does not only brighten the future of over 30 million people that depend on the lake but it reduces poverty which is one of the biggest source of conflict and reasons for the significant increase in radicalism in the Sahel. As part of an effort to address the current challenges in the Basin, a seminar
“Adaptive Water Management in the Lake Chad Basin: Addressing Current Challenges and Adapting to Future Needs,” was convened in 2009 by the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and the Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Stockholm Germany.

The seminar attended by more than 50 participants representing riparian countries, donors and other institutes, identified the causes of the current environmental degradation to be mainly global climate change, unsustainable policy decisions, lack of good policy and lack of political will especially on the part of member states of the LCBC to drive development and change. There are eight member governments, mainly Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, – the Central African Republic, Algeria Libya and Sudan – are chosen for their proximity to the Lake Chad Basin.

However poor coordination by member nations of the LCBC, have been attributed to the continual degradation of the Lake Chad Basin. The Commission has put on the drawing board a plan to replenish the lake
by building a dam and 60 miles of canals to pump water uphill from the Congo River to the Chari River and then on to Lake Chad. The replenishment project “will be the first of its kind in Africa,” says
Martin Gbafolo, the LCBC’s director of water resources and environment. Efforts, however, are still on raising fund to pay for the feasibility study.

Already the World Bank is providing $10.6 million for a project to reverse land and water degradation in parts of the lake. In addition, the LCBC is educating livestock herders on gaining access to grazing and watering areas. Water users are taught efficient water-utilization methods and fishermen more appropriate techniques for catching fish. Scientists have however insisted that attention must be paid to the final quality of the water resulting from mixing the waters of the Lake Chad Basin and the Oubangui, as well as the effect this will have
on the ecosystems.

But investments in agriculture in the Lake has the potentials to transform the area to one of biggest eco and bio-diversity hub in the world. For example, the world’s most formidable economies are those with agribusiness at the foundation of the economic tree. Such countries include United States of America, Israel, and several EU countries. Whether it is oil exploration or water transfer in the Lake Chad, both  projects come with huge cost to the ecosystem but the former is the  lesser evil if conservation mechanism are adopted and security in the troubled region is taken seriously.

The Lake Chad Vision for 2025 highlighted a number of important issues deduced from the existing situation in the lake’s drainage basin. The document identified three major objectives; namely, (i) maintenance of Lake Chad and other wetlands of the region at sustainable levels for the economic security of the freshwater ecosystem resources, sustained biodiversity and aquatic resources of the basin and their equitable use, the

 alleviation of poverty; (ii) acceptance of responsibilities for freshwater, ecosystem as well as biodiversity conservation and judicious integrated river basin management by regional and national authorities; and (iii) equitable access by Member States to safe and adequate water resources to meet their needs and rights

Salkida is a Freelance Journalist/Conflict analyst and Kundiri is a Professor of soil and Water Management.

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

Chad, Niger Troops Retake Nigeria Border Town From Boko Haram

Soldiers from Chad and Niger on Tuesday drove Boko Haram Islamist militants from a northern Nigeria border town they have occupied since late last year, Chad’s government spokesman said.

Chad’s Communications Minister Hassan Sylla Bakari said this time there was no doubt who controlled the town. “We took Malam Fatori this evening. It’s an important victory in the fight against Boko Haram,” he told Reuters.

Read More: yahoo

Troops From Chad, Niger Retake Town From Boko Haram

Waving a captured black and white militant flag, soldiers from Niger and Chad on Wednesday celebrated their liberation of a Nigerian town from Boko Haram extremists. It is another victory in a regional campaign to wrest back swaths of northeast Nigeria from the Islamist militants.

Damasak, just a few miles over the border from Niger, was liberated over the weekend, Col. Michel Ledru, a spokesman for Niger’s army, said Wednesday.

In heavy fighting, 228 militants were killed and one soldier from Niger died, Ledru said. Vehicles and motor cycles riddled with bullets littered the streets. An Associated Press photographer in the northeastern town said it was largely deserted of civilians on Wednesday. Four people, including an old man, came onto the street to wave at a convoy among 2,000 troops from Niger and Chad in the town.

There were still signs of the town’s occupation by the militants. Their writings were scrawled on every wall and the extremists’ black and white flag still flew above some buildings.

As two Chadian helicopters landed with supplies, soldiers on the ground started chanting and displaying their catch: A Boko Haram flag torn down from a nearby building.

On the outskirts of town, hundreds of troops have set up camp. Some soldiers hid from the 45-degree (113-degree Fahrenheit) heat in the shade to their tanks. Some used their helmets to grind grain for a meal. A few did laundry while others cooked food.

It was all work for a group of Chadian troops who transferred weapons captured from Boko Haram to a pickup truck that drove it to the helicopters for transport back to Niger: AK47 assault rifles and 50-caliber guns, rocket-propelled grenades and mortar shells. “Boko Haram is far now, very far,” said one soldier.

Read More: Yahoo

Never Again Will Boko Haram Occupy Nigerian Territory – CDS Badeh

The Nigerian Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, has said that “never again” would the military allow any territory of Nigeria to be occupied by terrorists.

Mr. Badeh said this when a civil society group, Nigeria in Safe Hands Group, carried a solidarity rally to the Defence Headquarters, Abuja, on Thursday in Support of the Armed Forces.

The CDS was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans at the Defence Headquarters, AVM Umar Omeiza.

“The troops are saying: never again; never again; never again.

“We are not going to allow terrorists to occupy any part of the country. Boko Haram is a common enemy for all of us.

“We want to tell you that we are very glad to have you here; we are very happy that some people are appreciating the Nigerian military efforts in the fight against terrorists.

“And it is not the march that matters but that somebody is supporting and appreciating you, will make you to match forward.

“Like you have rightly observed, we started slow because of the reasons you proffered and then you can see the achievements that we are gaining because of the changes in the status quo”, Omeiza told the group

He added that “…we don’t have any nation to call ours except this one and if the military fails all of you have failed”.

Mr. Badeh also said that the war against the enemy, “Boko Haram”, was not only for the military, adding that the military was only representing Nigerians.

He urged Nigerians to continue to support the military in the fight against the terrorists.

Earlier, the National Coordinator of the group, Godwin Malaiga, said they were happy that territories occupied by “Boko Haram” had been recaptured by our military.

Mr. Malaiga said they were at the Defence Headquarters to thank the Nigerian military for the success they had been recording in the fight against the insurgents.

“We believe that before the general elections all the territories will be recaptured fully.

“We believe in the military, we will continue to thank them.

“We also want to use this opportunity to thank President Goodluck Jonathan for his efforts so far in the fight against the terrorists”, he said.

Mr. Malaiga urged the National Assembly to always ensure that the budget of the military was passed on time to avoid delay in operations.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Over 500 youths participated in the rally.

South African Troops, Others Join Fight Against Boko Haram

South African troops as well as other foreign soldiers have joined in Nigeria’s offensive against Boko Haram insurgents in the nation’s north east region, engaging in ground combat and flying combat air sorties.

According to VOA, the Federal Government explained that the foreign military personnel were only advisers accompanying military equipment purchased from South Africa, Russia and Ukraine.

However, it appears the soldiers are also actively combating the insurgents as Nigerian soldiers disputed the government’s claim and disclosed that many of the soldiers were participating in actual combat, VOA reported on Thursday.

Activities of the extremist group seeking to impose Islamic rule in the region have caused the death of several thousands and displaced over 1 million people in northern Nigeria.

“One soldier, who is living alongside the foreign personnel in a barracks in the city of Maiduguri, identified the foreigners as South Africans, Ukrainians and others. He said they were flying aircraft from the Maiduguri airport.”

“The South Africans don’t want to deploy with any Nigerian military units, they want to go on their own,” the sergeant, who was not authorized to speak to the media, told VOA.

“The white soldiers, they were the only ones who knew how to operate the mobile rocket launchers,” the corporal said.

The corporal, who was also based in the barracks in Maiduguri, said South African pilots had been flying combat missions using Nigerian jets, surveillance planes and helicopters, along with jets he said appeared to be South African.

“All the aerial attacks are being done by the white soldiers using Nigerian and hired military aircraft,” he said.

Another officer, who served as a top aide to the commander of a brigade in Borno state, told VOA there were between 100 and 150 foreign soldiers, mainly South African, working out of Maiduguri and they were flying fighter jets daily out of the Maiduguri airport.

The post South African Troops, Others Join Fight Against Boko Haram appeared first onChannels Television.

Chad, Niger Soldiers Killed as Boko Haram Loses Nigerian Towns

About 15 soldiers from Chad and Niger died in fighting to take control of two towns in northern Nigeria from Boko Haram, the first gains against the militants in a joint offensive launched at the weekend, military sources said on Monday.

About 30 Nigerien and Chadian soldiers were wounded in the clashes over Malam Fatouri and Damasak, a day after thousands of troops crossed the border to seize areas held by the Sunni Islamist group, whose insurgency has forced Nigeria to delay an election and neighbors to mobilize their armies.

A Chadian officer, who asked not to be named, said about 10 Chadian soldiers were killed and 20 wounded in fighting for the towns. Two sources with Niger’s military told Reuters five of its soldiers were killed in the clashes.

There was no official comment from the armies of either Chad or Niger. “We have kicked the enemy out of these areas and they are now under our control,” a Niger military officer said.

The advancing troops had seized large quantities of arms and ammunition as well as vehicles, he said, and were undertaking a clean-up operation in the area. “The troops have taken dozens of Boko Haram elements prisoner,” he added.

Damasak, the town furthest into Nigeria, is 10 km (6 miles) south of the Niger border, where Nigerien and Chadian troops had been massing in recent weeks before the offensive.

Read More: Yahoo

Nigeria, Chad Compete to Defeat Boko Haram

When battle-hardened Chadian troops overran a Boko Haram camp in northern Nigeria last week, they wanted to press deep into territory controlled by the Islamist group but Nigeria refused to let them.

Having defeated al Qaeda in Mali two years ago, Chad’s military believes it could could finish off Boko Haram alone. It has notched up victories that have pushed the Nigerian militants back from the Cameroonian border.

But with presidential elections this month, Nigeria is keen to press ahead with its own military campaign against Boko Haram, aiming to push it out of major towns before the March 28 ballot.

In a country proud to be a major African power, it would be an embarrassment to President Goodluck Jonathan as he seeks reelection for a smaller nation to tackle Nigeria’s security problems, diplomats say.

In their forward base in the town of Gambaru on the Nigeria-Cameroon border, Chadian soldiers displayed dozens of guns seized from Boko Haram and a burnt-out armoured vehicle painted with black and white Arabic script.

“We turned back because Nigeria did not authorise us to go any further,” army spokesman Colonel Azem Bermandoa said.

Read MoreYahoo

Meet the Coalition Responsible for Crippling Boko Haram

Military chiefs from Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Benin and Niger are finalizing their strategy for a 8,750-strong regional force to tackle the militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

In the last few weeks, the Multinational Joint Task Force has retaken several towns captured by the militants in north-eastern Nigeria. Now, the regional chiefs are preparing for a major ground and air offensive due to start next month – and are meeting in Chad this week to set out the command structure.

The force will be led by a Nigerian commander, after which the position will rotate among the members.

Read More: bbc.com

Chadian Troops Kill 100 Boko Haram Fighters

Soldiers from Chad killed 207 Boko Haram fighters in clashes near a Nigerian town close to the border with Cameroon, Chad’s army announced in a statement.

One Chadian soldier was killed and another nine were wounded in Gambaru, the scene of regular attacks by the group in recent months. There was no immediate independent verification of the Chadian army’s announcement, reports a news agency.

Chad’s military also claimed to have seized large quantities of small arms and ammunition and two pick-up trucks on Tuesday.

Niger, Cameroon and Chad have launched a regional military campaign to help Nigeria defeat the Boko Haram insurgency, which aims to carve an Islamic emirate out of northeastern Nigeria.

Chad deployed troops last month in support of Cameroonian efforts to stop repeated cross-border raids by the fighters, whose operations increasingly threaten Nigeria’s neighbours.

The African Union last month authorised the creation of the regional force, which will also include Benin, and is pushing for a United Nations Security Council mandate for the operation.

Chad Troops Enter Nigeria to fight Boko Haram

First ground offensive launched by Chad against Nigerian rebels in bordering town of Gambaru after days of air-strikes.

Chadian troops have crossed into northeastern Nigerian town of Gambaru to launch a ground offensive for the first time against Boko Haram fighters that control the town bordering Cameroon, Chadian military sources have said.

Fighting between the two sides began after armoured vehicles and soldiers from Chad entered the strategic Nigerian town on Tuesday in an increasingly regional conflict.

“Our troops entered Nigeria this morning. The combat is ongoing,” one of the sources at Chad’s army headquarters told the Reuters news agency.

Chadian forces have also taken up position close to Boko Haram strongholds along Nigeria’s border with Niger.

“A contingent of about 400 vehicles and tanks is stationed between Mamori and Bosso,” Niger’s private radio Anfani reported.

Read More: aljazeera.com

Chadian aircraft bombs town in anti-Boko Haram raid

Chadian aircraft on Saturday bombed  Gamboru in a raid targeting Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, security sources said.

A raid was carried out around midday by two fighter jets on the town in Nigeria’s far northeast along the Cameroon border, sources from Chad and Cameroon said on condition of anonymity.

Boko Haram overran the town several months ago as part of its campaign to seize territory in the region and create an Islamic state. Nigeria’s military said on Thursday that its fighter jets had bombed the northeast town of Malam Fatori, also controlled by Boko Haram. Witnesses and some media reports said troops and airforce planes from Chad were also involved in that operation on Nigerian soil but Abuja neither confirmed nor denied the claim.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday gave his backing to an African Union proposal to set up a regional five-nation force of 7,500 troops to fight Boko Haram.

Chadian Fighter Jet Reclaims Borno Town From Boko Haram

Eye witnesses and security sources have claimed that the Chadian military yesterday retook Malumfatori, being the headquarters of Abadam local government area of Borno State from Boko Haram insurgents.

It was reported that the troop from Chad yesterday demonstrated rare gallantry when its Air Force launched a major aerial campaign over Malumfatori, dropping several bombs in major spots occupied by the insurgents.

Abari Modu, who resides in a village near Malumfatori, disclosed that thick smoke bellowed over the deserted border with Boko Haram terrorists running helter skelter as the Chadian fighter plane kept bombarding and decimating them.

Modu, who spoke on phone from a village in Chad, was quoted as saying, “The fighter jet started shelling and bombarding the insurgents who were lodged mostly inside the local government secretariat and district head’s palace.”

While disclosing that many Boko Haram members died considering that the Chadian soldiers ensured that they did not escape through the bushes, he said, “Honestly, the operation was well-coordinated because the soldiers on the ground gave the fighter jet a chance to bombard while they tackled the terrorists that were fleeing.”

This report was confirmed to Leadership Friday by a Nigerian soldier stationed in Maiduguri. He said, “Many buildings, including the local government secretariat and district head’s palace in Malumfatori were bombed by the Chadian air force jet,” said the soldier who spoke under strict condition of anonymity.

“The Chadian forces may be proactively reacting to the recent threat issued to their government by the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, who warned the country alongside the government of Niger and Cameroon that he may soon be taking attacks to them if they don’t stay off his business in Nigeria. The forces had the backing of their government; that was why they took the fight up to them, even in the shores of Nigeria,” he added.

#PhotoNews: Into the Lives of Baga Survivors

Lying on his side, Moussa Zira shows the gaping wound where the bullet entered his thigh the night Boko Haram came to his village near the now devastated northern Nigerian town of Baga.


He pretended to be dead before escaping in a dug-out canoe across Lake Chad to a refugee camp. He is still in terrible pain and has a limp, but Moussa Zira knows it is a miracle he survived what many fear was the worst massacre of the Islamists’ bloody insurgency. “Boko Haram arrived at four in the morning and entered every hut, looking for the men. They greeted us and told us to follow them into the bush, where they would explain everything,” he said.

The fighters took 14 men — “one per house” — from his village near Baga. “There was an old man with us and they told him to leave. We walked to a field and they told everyone to lie face down on the ground.

“After firing in the air once, they started shooting us” at point-blank range. Moussa Zira thought it was all over, that he was dead. “Then I realised that the bullet had missed my head and had gone through my arm and the back of my thigh. But around me everyone was dead.”

He lay still among the bodies so that the fighters “would not finish me off” until the gunmen left, before crawling through the tall grass for hours before coming across a motorcyclist who helped him get to the lake and away to Chad.

Read Moreyahoo.com

Boko Haram Release Hostages As Chad Joins Fight

Boko Haram freed two dozen hostages after a mass abduction by its militants in Cameroon, as Chad prepared Monday to engage in the international battle against the extremist group.

Twenty-four of the 80 people taken hostage by Boko Haram in the north of Cameroon Sunday were released as Cameroonian armed forces pursued the Islamist extremists, according to a government source.

The Boko Haram fighters then fled back into Nigeria, with the fate of the rest of the hostages taken in the raid, the worst of its kind to date, still unknown.

An army officer based in Cameroon’s far north said Boko Haram had attacked two villages and kidnapped what Cameroonian state media said were 80 hostages.

As the militants retreated, the Chadian army said it was putting 400 military vehicles, attack helicopters, and still unspecified number of soldiers amassed in northern Cameroon into action against Boko Haram, as part of what has become a regional effort to defeat the notoriously violent group.

“We are going to advance (Monday) towards the enemy,” Chadian army colonel Djerou Ibrahim, who is leading the offensive against Boko Haram, told AFP from the strategic crossroads town of Maltam in northern Cameroon.

“Our mission is to hunt down Boko Haram, and we have all the means to do that.”

But Cameroonian Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary warned the armies of the two nations still had considerable planning to complete before being able to launch offensives against Boko Haram.

“Military planners must evaluate the forces being coordinated and coalesced,” he said. “That takes time. Don’t expect to start seeing the results of that tomorrow.”

Chadian President Idriss Deby has clearly stated his determination to re-capture the strategic town of Baga in northeastern Nigeria, which Boko Haram stormed in murderous attacks in early January.

Credit: Yahoo

Nigeria Detains Russian Cargo Plane with Military Shipment to Chad

Nigeria detained a Russian cargo plane and its French-speaking crew on Saturday after it made an unauthorised landing in the northern city of Kano with military hardware bound for neighbouring Chad, a security source said. An air force spokesman confirmed the plane had been detained but gave no further details.

The plane had been travelling from Bangui, the capital of Central African Republic, to the Chadian capital N’Djamena but was forced to make an emergency landing in Kano because N’Djamena airport was closed, the security source said.

He said after the five crew members were detained, inspectors found two helicopters, a bullet-proof jeep and boxes of what were suspected to be military hardware.

The Russian embassy in Abuja did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It was not clear what the shipment was for. Chadian fighters have been involved in Central African Republic’s conflict since Muslim Seleka rebels seized the southern capital Bangui in 2013.

Mysterious arms shipments have caused controversy in Nigeria before. A Nigerian court sentenced an alleged member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and a Nigerian accomplice to five years in prison in May last year over an illegal shipment of mortars and rockets seized in the main port of Lagos in 2010.

Credit: Reuters

Boko Haram: Chad Plays High Stakes in Talks

Chad’s President Idriss Deby, a wily survivor of rebellions, is looking to bolster his powerbroker role in the Sahel and his nation’s own security by backing peace talks between neighbour Nigeria’s government and Islamist Boko Haram insurgents.

The Boko Haram rebels, whose five-year revolt has killed thousands and caused mayhem in the northeast of Africa’s biggest economy Nigeria, have been threatening Chad’s own frontiers and disrupting cross-border trade.

With jihadist fighters prowling Libya’s deserts to the north, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb active in the west, and rebels and janjaweed militia battling in Sudan’s Darfur region to its east, Chad already finds itself in the eye of the storm.

Deby, a former fighter pilot who took power in a 1990 coup, survived offensives by Sudan-backed rebels in 2006 and 2008. He can ill afford a violent Islamist onslaught by Boko Haram in the southern Lake Chad border region of his oil-producing nation.

To pre-empt this threat, Deby’s government quietly started in September mediating negotiations between Nigeria and Boko Haram, aimed at securing the release of 200 schoolgirls seized in April in the northeast Nigerian town of Chibok. Nigeria’s military unexpectedly made the initiative public last month.

Chad says the peace talks are still on track despite a recently released video that appears to show Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau saying the Chibok girls had been “married off” to his fighters, contradicting an earlier announcement of a deal to release them.

“We have a huge interest in resolving these talks,” said a senior Chadian diplomat, adding that Boko Haram’s activities in the porous frontier around Lake Chad were difficult to control.

“We’re worried that they’ll come here next.”

A breakthrough on the talks would help Deby strengthen his reputation as a regional powerbroker, a role welcomed by former colonial ruler France as it seeks to stop being ‘Africa’s policeman’ and hand that job to local African allies.

“One reason for Chadian involvement is the country’s posturing as a regional hegemon,” said Ryan Cummings, chief analyst at crisis management group Red 24.

Chad’s army is considered one of Africa’s most battle-ready and played a frontline role alongside the French in an operation in 2013 against Islamic fighters in Mali’s desert north.

Its soldiers also formed the backbone of an African Union peacekeeping mission in Central African Republic to the south, until they withdrew after U.N. accusations of killing civilians.

Last year, Chad earned a seat on the U.N. Security Council and Deby has gained prominence chairing regional summits.

Credit: Yahoo News

Fingers Crossed for Chibok Girls’ Release

Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh announced two weeks ago that the boko haram had agreed to a ceasefire following an agreement reached by both the government and militants, after which one Mallam Danladi Ahmadu, who addressed himself as the Director General of Boko Haram repeatedly gave the assurance that the latest deal will end the violence and release the Chibok girls.

According to Ahmadu, the Chibok girls will be released today,  being 27th October 2014, to the Chadian President Idris Derby, for onward presentation to the Nigerian Government.

The entire nation awaits with fingers crossed on the authenticity of the claims by the Director General of Boko Haram, Mallam Danladi Ahmadu, which will be determined by the release of of over 200 Chibok girls who were abducted by the Boko Haram sect on April 14 this year.

FG Representatives Head To Chad For Chibok Girls Negotiation

Information reaching DailyPost suggests that the federal government negotiating team may have headed for the Chadian capital, N’djamena in continuation of its negotiation with representatives of Boko Haram insurgents, a Thisday report said.

According to the report, the team’s priority is the release of the abducted Chibok school girls and cessation of hostilities.

DailyPost recalls that Nigerian authorities last Friday announced that it had entered into a ceasefire agreement with the sect; an agreement it said will facilitate the release of the over 200 school girls abducted from their hostels in Chibok since April this year.

read more on http://dailypost.ng/2014/10/21/fg-delegation-leaves-chad-hold-talks-boko-haram/