February 4, 2015
RECENT reports from Borno State indicate that about 6,000 Boko Haram fighters are encircled by soldiers from the Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) around Madagali and Gulak and are negotiating a possible surrender as the noose tightens. Since 2009, Boko Haram has been waging a brutal war against Nigeria in a bid to establish an Islamic caliphate and over the last year has enjoyed substantial success on the battlefield. It scored military success, making sweeping gains across Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States, capturing 13 local government areas. Alarmed by the raging success of the terrorists, Nigeria, Niger Republic, Chad and Cameroon decided to form the MNJTF that would enable to cooperate militarily. Over the last week, the MNJTF has enjoyed significant success, particularly with the arrival of battle-hardened Chadian troops who over the weekend reclaimed the town of Gamboru-Ngala near the Chad border with Nigeria. In a further setback for Boko Haram, Nigerian troops were able to repel two spirited attacks on the Borno State capital Maiduguri, killing as many as 500 terrorists and seizing a large cache of weapons. Rather surprisingly, a British-made Vickers tank was among the armour seized, as were artillery guns, scores of pick-up trucks, anti-aircraft guns and rocket-propelled grenades. Nigerian military sources believe the end is nigh now with Boko Haram surrounded and cornered into a small pocket of Borno State. According to unconfirmed military reports, about 4,000 of the terrorists are negotiating a surrender with the Nigerian authorities, although it is not clear if Boko Haram leader Sheikh Abubakar Shekau is involved in the talks. One local eyewitness said: “The highway near Gulak is covered by artillery guns so it would be hard for Boko Haram to get through. The tide appears to be turning against them as at a fishing village on Lake Chad, local villagers broke into Boko Haram’s recruiting office and seized all its contents which they then burnt in the village square.” It is not yet clear when and how a surrender would be implemented but Nigeria is said to be talking to its MNJTF allies about adopting a joint approach. It is also uncertain if Sheikh Shekau approves of the surrender as in the past, he has disassociated himself from any attempts to reach an accommodation with the Nigerian government.
Source: Nigerian Watch