On Saturday 4th of April, 2020, the Chadian Army destroyed Five (5) bases of the Boko Haram (BH) Jihadist group. This is following an attack on a military base belonging to Chad on 23rd March, 2020 killing 98 Chadian soldiers in an ambush commissioned by the BH Imam, Abubakar Shekau. 

In the operation tagged “Operation Boma’s Wrath”, the Chadian soldiers targeted BH bases in Niger Republic, Nigeria and the Chad Basin. The operation was named after the Island where BH ambushed its soldiers in a seven-hour assault. The Chadian President, Idriss Deby has described the assault as the worst his country’s military has ever suffered and promised to lead the revenge mission.

Earlier, the ISWAP elements in the ‘Timbuktu’ province ambushed and killed over 50 Nigeria soldiers near Goneri village in Northern Yobe while on a mission to launch an offensive. A viral video clip emerged thereafter showing the obviously overwhelmed Nigerian troops relaying the incident to their military commanders. 

For now, it’s all about Idriss Deby’s battle success and the usual excitement of a possible end of BH and perhaps the arrest or killing of Abubakar Shekau. How that will play out is a matter of time. Just like euphoria that greeted similar battle successes of Nigerian soldiers over BH especially the capturing of ‘Ground Zero’, this might as well fade away. We may want to ask why is everything has to end in this way after gaining so much ground against the insurgents.

International counter terrorism and organized crime expert for Global Risk International UK Ltd - DAVID OTTO who specializes in Counter Jihadist Strategies in Africa says “only a regional coordinated military strategy with full endorsement and confidence from the executive will favourably change the current dynamics on ground — what President Idriss Derby has done, in the recent onslaught is to give his frontline Military leadership the needed moral support they require to engage the enemy — every regional state and Commander in Chief can improve frontline soldiers and military leadership moral by given them absolute assurances and logistical support to take the this asymmetrical warfare to a closure” local communities need to feel safe and secure, assured that they can be protected by government security forces with the full backing of state leadership. 

Photo: David Otto

The lone farmer wants to know that the state authorities he voted for cares about them beyond campaigning for votes. 

Asked if the war has been won? Otto Said - Military defeat is only one aspect of the war, and it must continue to be a regional effort — no one can play God in the region as jihadist will explore gaps. To win the war on terror in this region, member states must eliminate Jihadist ideology by providing alternative and counter narratives and win the full support of the people- it must be a multi-agency approach. We know that jihadist are like water and the people are like the fish - if the state wins the full support of the local people on they will drown the jihadist by allowing the people a clear path to escape from their ideological claws. 

He concludes by positing that “Jihadist Brain is their ideology — their Body is the fighters & their legs are the internal and external support mechanism & networks. All three must be defeated to guarantee brain dead victory. Chad alone cannot achieve victory without equal effort from Regional partners.”


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