Nigerian Troops In Somalia Not Paid For 11 Months- Report

Eleven months after they were deployed on peace enforcement duties in Somalia as Formed Police Unit (FPU) to assist the Somali police maintain law and order and provide cover for the country’s first democratic elections holding tomorrow, Nigerian troops have not been paid.

Superintendent of Police (SUPOL) Theophelius Eze is an epitome of tough cops. As the commandant of the 140 strong contingents of Nigerian mobile policemen deployed in the war blighted Republic of Somalia on peace enforcement/support duty, Eze and his men are the last line of defence between the dreaded Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen otherwise known as the terror organisation Al-Shabaab and the government troops.
Eze and his men, referred to as the Formed Police Unit (FPU) in Somalia have their duties spelt out in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). They are to, among others, provide training and logistics support for the newly formed Somali Police Force (SPF); secure and restore civil order in all territories retaken from Al-Shabaab and provide security for the Individual Police Officers (IPO) specially recruited by the African Union (AU).
In the police unit of the AMISOM troops, only the officers in the FPU are permitted to bear arms.
“Before coming, we were trained for six months, we knew it will not just be peacekeeping but peace support operations, we were trained by the Nigeria Police in all manners of operations including crowd control and Very Important Personality (VIP) movement,” Eze said.
He and the other officers are not the first Nigerians to be deployed in Somalia. They are the fifth batch of 140 mobile unit contributed by the Federal Government AMISOM operations to bring lasting peace to Somalia.
Five other African countries, Burundi, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti also contribute military troops to the mission.
The first batch of mobile policemen, who touched down at the Mogadishu Airport in Somalia in September 2012, was holed up for almost half of the six months of the tour of duty at the base camp, a gigantic military fortress built by the AMISOM.
In 2012, much of Mogadishu and the rest of the vast Somalia geography were still in the hands of Al-Shabaab.
The police worked behind the lines as the military began to take more territories, pushing the terrorists back into the countryside. Slowly, the Nigerian police began to enforce civil order, training and supporting the ragtag undisciplined and totally unprofessional Somali Police.

There was nothing to prepare the fifth batch of Nigeria police contingent for the shock that awaited them in Somalia. Not even the training in the country. The team suddenly realised they will not be keeping peace and controlling crowd, their presence alone made them prominent targets for Al-shabaab. “When we got here, we suddenly realised we were fighting terrorism and we have to adjust to that reality,” Eze said.
The police were camped at the Stadium barracks, situated in Yawshid District, one of the most undesirable neighbourhoods of Mogadishu. The stadium, where the policemen are accommodated, has a not-too-sterling record. Before Al-shabaab took over the capital city, it was where sporting activities held and talents discovered, but Al-shabaab turned it to its slaughter lab where offenders were routinely beheaded. All over the buildings, one could see the handiwork of bullets, mortars and rockets.
The camp is heavily guarded, but not fortified enough to ward off terrorists’ attacks.
“They (terrorists) usually attack us from the air,” said Muhammed Sani, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), who is FPU’s Operations Commander.
The terrorists have are delighted shelling the camp of the Nigerian troops. Earlier this month, four of such of such bombardments killed two civilians but none of the officers was affected.
The Nigerians are also put in harm’s way any time they go on patrol. In August, during a tour of duty, a female cop, Ladi John, a Sergeant, was shot at close range by the terrorist.
“She was shot at close range, the bullet missed her heart by the whiskers. She was rushed to Nairobi where she spent two months recuperating. Thank God she is back and she is alive. This is one of the hazards of the job. We have seen worst things,” Sani said.
But Eze said his team has devised a method to checkmate the terrorists. Not fool-proved though, the method has helped in the past to avert greater tragedy.
Eze said: “We are proactive about security here; we do not allow them to bring the fight to us; we have been successful using the cordon and search approach which we do majorly on intelligence. We do that twice a week with our mentees – the Somali Police. Recently in Bakara Market, we recovered large cache of materials used in making Improvised Explosive Device (IEDs).”
But the gallant Nigerians face a lot of challenges from explosions daily.
“Since we recovered the IED materials, we just realised that bombs have been going off indiscriminately in Mogadishu. This country is highly unpredictable, anything can happen anytime” he said.

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Nigerian troops in Somalia not paid for 11 months

Jubilation In Borno As Nigerian Troops Reclaim Gudumbari

Displaced people celebrated in Borno state as troops of the Nigerian military under the Armed Forces Special Force (AFSF) cleared all traces of Boko Haram occupation from Gudumbari, the headquarters of Guzamala local government area of the state.

Spokesman of the Nigeria Army, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman confirmed the development  via a press statement.

“In continuation of the clearance of the remnants of recalcitrant members of Boko Haram terrorists in the various nooks and corners of the north east, the Armed Forces Special Forces (AFSF) carried out successful clearance of Boko Haram terrorists hiding in Gudumbali general area,” Usman, who is acting director, army public relations said.

Gudumbari is one of the remote local government areas in northern Borno state that was sacked and occupied by Boko Haram fighters.

It was once reclaimed in the past, but the insurgents crept back and reoccupied the area after the troops had moved on.

But with the Tuesday take over of Gudumbari after a victorious operation by the troops, the news elicited jubilation.

Aisami Goni, an IDP from Guzamala said, “we give glory to God for the good news we are hearing about soldiers’ victory over Boko Haram.’’

Credit: Leadership

Boko Haram Market Uncovered As Nigerian Troops Rescue 195 Captives

The Nigerian troops on Wednesday destroyed patent medicine outlet and major market operated by Boko Haram insurgents and rescued 195 captives at various locations of Borno State.

A statement by the spokesman of Nigerian Army, Sani Usman, said “quite a number” of insurgents were killed and a lot of items were recovered during the raid.

“The Nigerian troops of 7 Division Garrison comprising 112 Battalion and Armed Forces Special Forces yesterday carried out a joint clearance patrol on suspected Boko Haram terrorists locations at Kwaptara, Mijigete, Garin Boka, Mosole, Ngubdori, Ma’asa, Dukje and Gulumba in Dikwa and Bama Local Government Areas of Borno State.

“The troops discovered Boko Haram terrorists camp, patent medicine outfit and major market at Gulumba.

“Quite a number of Boko Haram terrorists were killed and several items were recovered. This includes two logistic trucks, 180 motorcycles, 750 bicycles and various perishable and non-perishable items such as a 100 KVA Mikano generator and grinding machine.

“In addition, they also rescued 195 persons held hostage, recovered 300 cows, 200 sheep and 130 goats rustled by the insurgents.

“The troops also recovered military items such as camouflage uniforms as well as rifle magazines and grenades…”

Credit: PremiumTimes

US Resumes Training Of Nigerian Troops For Anti-terror War

Fourteen months after a U.S. army-led combat training for Nigerian soldiers was aborted, American authorities have announced a resumption of the programme.

The American Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said, Tuesday, that the training would resume this February.

Speaking on U.S. strategy against Boko Haram at a meeting in Washington DC, Ms. Thomas-Greenfield said U.S. expects would “inaugurate the first round of training for an infantry battalion later this month.”

The resumed training program is part of a broad U.S. strategy against the terror group and, part of the new deal the Obama administration entered with President Muhammadu Buhari during his official trip to America last July.

“Our counter Boko Haram Strategy is an integrated, interagency effort to help Nigeria and its neighbors in their fight to degrade and ultimately to defeat Boko Haram”, said Ms. Thomas-Greenfield adding that the Obama administration engaged Mr. Buhari’s military leadership “to draw up a range of new and continued security assistance”.

“We have stepped up information-sharing efforts, we are jointly evaluating new efforts to counter improvised explosive devices, developing better tools to assess harm to civilians, and assess the potential for U.S. advisory assistance”, the Assistant Secretary of State said.

One of the reasons the Jonathan administration gave for terminating the previous U.S. training program in December 2014 was America’s reluctance to share real-time intelligence with the Nigerian military and refusal to sell Cobra helicopters to Nigeria.

Credit: PremiumTimes

How Nigerian Troops, Boko Haram Clashed In Army Chief’s Village

Boko Haram gunmen launched a dawn raid Saturday on the hometown of Nigeria’s army chief, triggering a fierce gunbattle with troops, residents of a nearby village to which people fled the clashes said.

There was no immediate report of casualties in the fighting in Buratai in Borno state, the home village of Tukur Yusuf Buratai, Nigeria’s top army officer.

Abubakar Umar, a resident of the nearby hamlet of Miringa, told AFP that the fighting began at 5:00 am after Boko Haram insurgents attacked the village.

“At one point we could hear explosions coming from the direction of Buratai,” he said.

Troops reinforcements from a military base in the town of Biu, 30 kilometres from Buratai, were seen passing through Miringa.

“Nine trucks conveying soldiers and another four carrying local hunters drove through our village towards Buratai and from what we hear more are on their way,” said Shitu Ayuba, another resident.

Some Buratai residents had fled to Miringa, where they took shelter in a primary school, locals said.

Credit: AFP

Nigerian Troops, Militants Exchange Fire In Kogi

Reports from Okene town in Kogi state say troops of the Nigerian Army are currently engaging some unknown gunmen.

An Islamic cleric in the town told newsmen that the gunmen were “terrorists”.

He said residents remained indoors as the clash continued.

“We are presently in our houses, no any movement at all! Gun shooting everywhere!” the cleric said.

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Nigerian Troops Capture Town In Borno

Nigerian troops says they have captured the economic and strategic town of Banki town in Borno State.

A statement issued by the Acting Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, said the soldiers also destroyed seven Boko Haram camps and successfully diffused seven Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

According to Colonel Usman, several Boko Haram terrorists were killed, and others captured alive between Banki junction and Ngorosoye.

Banki is a said to be a town where major economic and trading activities between Nigeria, Cameroon and Central African countries take place.

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Nigerian Troops Clear More Boko Haram Camps

The Nigerian Army says that troops advancing to clear all known Boko Haram terrorists camps towards Banki, Kumshe axis and Bama axis have cleared four more camps.

The Acting Director of Information, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, revealed this in a statement on Monday.

“The gallant troops also rescued dozen of kidnapped women and children held captive by Boko Haram terrorists.

“The clearance by ground troops and aerial bombardments by the Nigerian Air Force continues till we reach the desired objective of defeating the terrorists,” he said.

The Defence Headquarters further confirmed this via their Twitter account.


Nigerian Troops Arrest Two Boko Haram Commanders In Yobe

Troops have arrested two key members of Boko Haram in Gaidam town of Gaidam local government area of Yobe state, Northeast Nigeria.

A statement from the Nigerian Army spokesman, Col. Sani Usman reveals that, two pick-up vehicles were also seized from the fleeing insurgents. Col. Sani said the terrorists were currently being interrogated.

According to him, following reports about suspected movements and planned attack by Boko Haram terrorists around Damasak area, the Nigerian Air Force is conducting air surveillance and armed reconnaissance in the area.

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Nigerian Troops Gun Down Eight, Arrest Boko Haram’s Fuel Supplier

Troops gained upperhand yesterday in their counter-insurgency campaign in Borno and Yobe states when they killed eight suspected Boko Haram insurgents and arrested the sect’s fuel and food items coordinator.

The troops also recovered 15 cows, 174 goats and a donkey from rustlers.

But two members of a vigilante group were wounded by Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) fragments.

The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman, who made the disclosure, said in a statement: “The Nigerian troops yesterday made startling discovery while combing and clearing terrorists in and around Dikwa, Borno State.

“During the painstaking operation, the troops discovered pile of street lamps poles cut into pieces by Boko Haram terrorists which they use in making Improvised Explosives Devices (IEDs).

“In another development, during a cordon and search operation in Jakana village, the troops of 7 Division Garrison recovered 15 cows, 174 goats and a donkey from rustlers.

“The animals have since been handed over to their identified legitimate owners. The rustlers were apprehended and are currently undergoing investigation.

“Similarly, troops have at Jehu near Jakana, arrested Mai Mustapha; a fuel supplier to Boko Haram terrorists, and Madu, who coordinates buying of food items from neighbouring villages for the terrorists.

“Additionally, early this morning troops blocked elements that attacked Dumbuluwa village in Fika Local Government Area of Yobe State and had encounter with the terrorists.

“The gallant soldiers killed eight terrorists. Unfortunately, two vigilantes were wounded by Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) fragments.”


Nigerian Troops Gun Down Many Terrorists Along Maiduguri Road (VIEWER DISCRETION)

Nigerian troops have killed many terrorists during a recent combat operation along Dikwa-Maiduguri Road in Borno State.

General Buratai while renaming the counter-insurgency operation to “Operaton Zaman Lafiya Dole,” had urged the troops not to wait for Boko Haram to attack but to take the battle to the insurgents’ hideout.

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This development according to the security sources increased the tempo offensive by Nigerian troops, which led to the killing of many terrorists.

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Nigerian Troops Who Fled Boko Haram Now Have Them On The Run

A year ago, a dozen Nigerian troops fighting about 200 Boko Haram militants in the town of Chibok exhausted their ammunition and ran, leaving the road open for the abduction of nearly 300 girls.

Today, Nigerian soldiers are rescuing hundreds of kidnapped girls and women from the last forest stronghold of the Islamic insurgents.

The reason for the unimaginably swift shift in fortunes?

In the last three months, military forces from neighboring Chad, Niger and Cameroon have joined the battle. In addition, Nigerian troops are finally receiving better arms and weapons, as well as hazard pay that they had not received until this year.

As a result, Boko Haram’s supply lines are being cut off, creating conditions for the security forces to deliver a potential knockout blow to the extremists who have created havoc in northeastern Nigeria for years.

Nigeria’s military has announced that it has recaptured all major towns seized by the insurgents and that Boko Haram’s main fighting force is hemmed into the Sambisa Forest, where it is being pounded by air raids and attack helicopters. While the government forces are stronger, Boko Haram is growing weaker by the day.

Last year, Boko Haram fighters were able to escape across Nigeria’s borders to evade capture. Now, they are blocked by the troops from Chad, Niger and Cameroon. With Nigeria’s permission, Chad and Niger have even sent their forces inside Nigeria to pursue the extremists.

Routes used by Boko Haram to transport fuel and ammunition have been reclaimed by the military. On Sunday, military intelligence officers arrested a man who allegedly supplied fuel and food to Boko Haram, reported Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade.

Credit: AP

Boko Haram Burns Town as Troops Advance

Boko Haram Islamists have set fire to homes in Nigeria’s northeast town of Bama that are under their control, forcing residents to flee as troops advance to recapture it, witnesses said Sunday.

The Islamists on Saturday told residents of Bama, 70 kilometres (37.5 miles) southeast of Maiduguri, to evacuate before setting fire to many homes as Nigerian troops inched closer in a bid to retake the town, residents told AFP.

The blaze forced hundreds of residents to flee towards Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, the group’s hometown and stronghold. “They came into the town around 12:00 pm (1100 GMT) warning that anyone who wanted to leave should leave the town and soon after they began torching homes,” resident ?Umar Kaka said.

“Not all residents could leave because some are too sick or old to leave and we are afraid they were burnt in the homes?,” Kaka said.

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Nigerian Troops Reclaim Another Town in Borno

The Nigerian Defence Headquarters said on Thursday that government troops have taken full control of Mafa, Borno State, after clearing Boko Haram terrorists from the town on Wednesday evening. The information was conveyed in a statement posted on the official website of the Defence Headquarters.

“Troops are now in full control of Mafa, Borno State, after completing the operation to clear terrorists from the town yesterday evening,” the military said.

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