Army chief claims 'several thousands' of Boko Haram insurgents have been killed by troops in North- East | Ripples Nigeria
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Army chief claims ‘several thousands’ of Boko Haram insurgents have been killed by troops in North- East

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The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen Tukur Buratai, claimed on Tuesday that the strength of Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East part of the country has been significantly reduced by troops of the Nigerian Army.

Buratai ,who revealed this at the 16th Annual Conference and Awards of the Security Watch Africa Initiatives held in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), said at least 5,475 suspected Boko Haram members have been arrested while tens of thousands were killed.

The army chief, who was represented at the event by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Nigerian Army, Lt.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, added that 32 bomb-making factories have been destroyed by troops.

He said: “Tens of thousands of the terrorists were killed, 5,475 of them were arrested and 32 bomb-making facilities/ factories have been destroyed. In addition, the number of Boko Haram fighters has been reduced significantly to less than 5,000 from the initial estimate of over 35,000 persons.

“It is equally acknowledged that the army has lost officers and soldiers in the course of containing this internal security threat to the state. Clearly, through the efforts of the Nigerian Army, we are winning the war against Boko Haram.”

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According to him, statistics from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) indicated that Boko Haram have killed between 30,000 to 100,000 people, displaced over two million persons being accommodated in about 35 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps and generated a refugee population of about 200,000 persons.

He added: “There must be a determined political will by the ruling elite to fight terrorism and insurgency, which is to be based on ‘all government approach’, involving the executive, legislative and judicial arms of government. This was demonstrated by the USA in her over a decade’s pursuit and eventual hunting down of Osama bin Laden. It took determination and a clear focus on the goal.

“In Africa, we recall that Algeria and Kenya have been dealing with the menace of terrorists for quite some time. While the Algerians are just getting off the throes of terrorism, Kenyans are still contending with the deleterious threats of Al Shabaab. Nigerians must realise that the country is not alone in the fight against global terrorism. In contending with this challenge, she should seek international partners and cooperation with neighbouring states and those experienced in combating terrorism and insurgency.

“The multinational approach is also necessary in the country’s bid to acquire arms and ammunition from any part of the World. Efforts must be made to synergise with the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEMs) of the required military hardware, to smoothen relationship and invariably establish a win-win situation.

“Furthermore, we must recognise that there is now a very wide area of convergence between internal security and external aggression. Modern warfare engagements are not conventional in nature. The parties are also not necessarily state actors. A lot of dynamism accompany these conflicts requiring flexibility and adaptability, by conventional troops involved.”

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