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REPORT: Soldiers selling weapons to Boko Haram

21 November 2016, 11:28

Lagos - Alleged corruption by some military officers, reportedly selling arms to the Boko Haram, has been cited among causes of the resurgence of the terror group.

After a lull in attacks during the past few months, raising hope the Islamic sect would be eliminated, the insurgents have carried out a spate of armed attacks in the northeastern Borno State targeting military interests and civilians.

The most significant of these was the September assault on the border town of Malam Fatori, in which as many as 40 soldiers were killed, allowing Boko Haram to temporarily regain control.

The International Peace Institute (IPI) also highlighted the surprise rebel ambush in Malam Fatori that killed seven soldiers, including Lieut.

Col. Muhammad Abu Ali, who has played a pivotal role in recent army victories against Boko Haram.

The institute blamed this on the prevalence of corruption.

“There are allegations that military officers have been selling weapons and supplies to Boko Haram members, and that the sect may even be privy to military intelligence such as the movements of commanders spearheading the fight against the Islamist movement,” the IPI stated.

Also read: Troops kill 7 Boko Haram members

The institute stated Boko Haram’s resurgence came amid a shift in military strategy from reclaiming insurgent-held territories to repopulating and defending these from further rebel attacks.

It said while this seemed necessary, the capability of the Nigerian military to eliminate the insurgency was still be constrained by inadequate provisions of food, supplies and ammunition.

Meanwhile, IPI is wary of the further reinvigoration of the Boko Haram if government enters a deal to release some detained members in exchange for the scores of schoolgirls kidnapped in Chibok in 2014.

There are reports such a deal secured the recent release of 21 girls, out of over 200.

It is reported some detainees included high-ranking militants with skills in bomb-making and strategic and tactical disciplines.

“More deals of this nature could be likely if pressure on the government to secure the girls is maintained, ultimately leading to further releases of extremists which could significantly reinvigorate Boko Haram’s operational and strategic capabilities,” IPI warned.

IPI is an independent, international not-for-profit think tank dedicated to managing risk and building resilience to promote peace, security, and sustainable development.

– CAJ News

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- CAJ News


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