Bourne terrorists surrender when the Nigerian army goes on the offensive

Men in long dresses lined up in front of Nigerian soldiers, bowing their heads, basking in the harsh sun and sniffing the dusty air. Women in burqas sat on the bare ground without clarity, some chew peanuts while touching their shoulders.

The men and women, members of the Islamic State of West Africa (ISWAP) and Boko Haram, surrendered to the Nigerian army. Soon the soldiers packed the rebels’ belongings into trucks and vans and took them out.

February 7 Arm announced that 104 rebels, including their families, surrendered to his troops in Borne: 22 men, 27 women and 55 children.

A few days later the governor of Borne reported that more than 30,000 ISWAP and Boko Haram fighters have surrendered to date.

Email from The Defense Post the Nigerian army’s question about the significance of the surrender was not answered. However, developments demonstrate the success of the army’s new, aggressive approach to deploying ground troops and bombing from the air in Bourne, including increasing the presence of troops in the south of the state to repel rebels.

The new strategy of the Nigerian army

The Nigerian army adopted this new strategy late last year, going on the offensive against entrenched enemy formations in the region.

Critics have long blamed the military for failing to defeat Boko Haram and ISWAP for their “old-fashioned insurgency strategy” that allows them to strike before they take action.

In response, the Chief of Staff of the Army, Lieutenant General Farouk Yahaya said officers in November on the military’s new strategy in the fight against terrorist insurgents.

The action plan combines long-range air strikes with Tucano aircraft and heavy artillery bombardment, using synergies between the army and the air force in their offensive, while increasing intelligence, elements that were missing in the past.

Explaining the new strategy, Professor of Political Science at the University of the Niger Delta Dr. Felix Ariakhi told The Defense Post that the military is now “fighting terrorists.”

Ariakhi called the new approach “instructive”, saying that the Nigerian army “records victories and forces rebels and their families to surrender.”

The strategy pays off

Recent examples seem to support Ariyah’s assertion. While the military has yet to provide data, its aggressive attack strategy seems to be paying dividends.

Only this week patrol destroyed Elements of Boko Haram and ISWAP in Damboa in southwestern Borne, rescuing women and children. “The surrender in Damboa is a success,” Ariakhi said.

February 10, “dozens of Boko Haram terrorists / ISWAP” died when battalion troops of the 147th Task Force and Civilian Task Force attacked a village near Gubbio in Borne.

Nigerian soldier. Photo: Stefan Hoynis / AFP

Two weeks earlier, soldiers of the 120th Battalion Task Force eliminated an undisclosed number of fighters in a “fierce battle” in Honor, five kilometers (three miles) across the border from Borneo.

Cautious optimism?

While these developments are encouraging, there is still a long way to go, and Nigerians are all too aware of it.

“Well done to the military for the surrender,” – a resident of Born Ahmed Vachyk told The Defense Post in a telephone interview, “but surrender raises my concerns. I think the military should continue to put pressure on them. “

Nigerian Senator Shehu Sani agreed. He called the recent surrender of ISWAP fighters and their families “good news”, but called for caution. “They need to be closely monitored and guided, based on some previous bitter experience,” he said. wrote on Twitter.

Zaki Ado, another Born resident, also applauded the military for the capture. “But you can never really trust these terrorists,” he said The Defense Post. “They could pretend.”

Surrender is a source of encouragement for the military and a small taste of victory in a long, bitter struggle.

However, it would be dangerous for the army to settle. The rebels proved again and again that it would be a mistake to write them off in their seemingly endless company. Bourne terrorists surrender when the Nigerian army goes on the offensive

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