Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Foreigners train military as "final onslaught" hits Boko Haram

17 March 2015, 20:17

London - Foreign private security personnel from South Africa, Russia and South Korea are on the ground in northeast Nigeria to train Nigerian troops and are not engaged in frontline combat against Boko Haram, the government said on Tuesday.

According to security and diplomatic sources, Nigeria has brought in hundreds of mercenaries to give its offensive against the militant group a shot in the arm ahead of the March 28 presidential elections.

But government spokesman Mike Omeri said foreigners on the ground were only engaged in training Nigerian troops.

"There are trainers on the ground to assist in the handling of equipment," Omeri told Reuters on the sidelines of a news conference in London. "They simulate, they teach. These are the things they do."

Asked if they were directly involved in fighting, he said: "I am not aware of that."

Africa's most populous nation and top energy producer has been plagued by the Boko Haram insurgency since 2009, when insurgents intensified efforts to establish an Islamic caliphate in the northeastern Borno state.

Also read: Jonathan fighting Boko Haram to win elections

However, this year Nigeria and its neighbours have launched a series of offensives to recapture territory, turning the tide against Boko Haram in the run-up to the hotly contested presidential poll.

Omeri would not confirm how many foreigners were involved but said they had come from the same countries that had provided military equipment. He cited South Africa, Russia and South Korea.

"Acquisition of recruitment and military hardware is done through a number of processes. There are government-to-government exchanges and there are those who also come through contractors," he said.

The contractors' stay in Nigeria would end when local troops had become proficient at handling the equipment, he added.

"This is training on site and maybe this is why the people on the ground have been described as mercenaries."

He declined to predict how long it would take for the military to regain full control.

"We have started the final onslaught," he said. "This is the road to the finish and we are on it already."

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...