NAF Struck Deep in Lake Chad Islands, Devastating Insurgents Operational Capability - MNJTF FC General Ibrahim

The Force Commander, Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) Major General Abdul Khalifah Ibrahim has lauded the role of the national Air Forces of the LCB countries especially the Nigerian Air Force which cannot be overemphasized as they continually struck deep in the Lake Chad Islands and have a devastating effect on the insurgents operational capability.

The FC General Ibrahim said this in his recent article titled "CONFRONTING TERRORISM IN THE LAKE CHAD BASIN – THE MULTINATIONAL JOINT TASK FORCE IN PERSPECTIVE" while giving appraisal to MNJTF Operations.

He said since the MNJTF was re-operationalized in 2015, the Force has conducted 6 major operations. These include Operation GAMA AIKI, Operation RAWAN KADA, Operation AMNI FAKAT and Operation YANCIN TAKFI I & II. The Force recently conducted Op SHARAN FAGE and Operation LAKE SANITY. 

The Force Commander noted that these operations were collectively successful with significant effects on the terrorist’s operational capacity. 

He stressed that, Operation LAKE SANITY, which was the most recent MNJTF Operation, saw the MNJTF troops penetrate deep inside the Lake Chad Islands and settlements known locally as “Tumbuns”. 

"This led to the neutralization of hundreds of terrorists, destruction of their camps and equipment and rescue of hostages and other abductees. 

"Areas such as Baga, Doron Baga, Mallam Fatori, Bindirim and Cross Kauwa in Nigeria, Blagoa, Darak and Fotoko in Cameroon, Kangalia and Kaiga in Chad as well as Baroua, Ngajam and Fougoi among others have seen steady return of hundreds of refugees, internally displaced, greater normalcy and civil authority being re-established",he said. 

The Force Commander said, the operations of the MNJTF in close collaboration with national operations (OPERATION HADIN KAI – Nigeria and OPERATION EMERGENCE IV – Cameroon) have led to an improved security situation in the Region. 

He reveals that schools are reopening although on a limited scale so also are hospitals and markets while commerce and agricultural activities including fishing are gradually picking up.

As the BHT/ISWAP operational space continues to shrink from these military pressures, their activities have been successfully confined to opportunity and limited attacks, however they still remain a potent force capable of carrying out attacks on civilian and military targets.

The Force Commander opined that there is therefore the need for the LCBC Countries to reappraise the efficiency and effectiveness of the MNJTF with the ultimate aim of making it stronger. The International Community through the EU, UK, AU, UN have also supported the MNJTF which should be sustained and improved upon. 

He said, issues of operational funding for sustained operations alongside other pressing challenges confronting the force needs to be looked into as the nature of the Boko Haram/ISWAP insurgency and its cross-border nature makes collaboration by the LCB countries a basic necessity to jointly work together towards combatting the menace once and for all.

The MNJTF remains a unique attempt to solving a nagging security problem as it has liberated and reclaimed lost territories hitherto occupied by the BHT in the region and also created an enabling environment for the conduct of humanitarian activities in local communities by local and international Non-Governmental Organizations such as ICRC.

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