Nigeria has degraded Boko Haram’s ability for territorial control – US report affirms


The United States government has confirmed President Muhammadu Buhari’s usual assertion that Boko Haram terrorists has been dealt a devastating blow by the Nigerian military, by affirming that the terrorist sect had lost considerable capacity to hold territory, though it continued to launch uncoordinated attacks.

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This was contained in Country Reports on Terrorism for 2015 released by the United States Bureau of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism, which noted that over 1, 240 persons were killed in terror attacks in Nigeria last year. The report identified inadequate cooperation and information sharing among the security agencies involved in the anti-terrorism war as the bane of the counterterrorism operation.

It reads in part, “Regional military forces made progress during 2015 in degrading the group’s territorial control, in particular following the election of Nigerian President Buhari, but Boko Haram responded by increasing its use of asymmetric attacks.

“Bilateral and multilateral efforts by these regional military forces successfully challenged Boko Haram’s hold on territory, forcing it to abandon major military-style campaigns and revert back to the asymmetric tactics seen in previous years. Despite these setbacks, Boko Haram withstood and adapted to the military offensives.

“The group carried out kidnappings, killings, bombings (including with child suicide bombers), and attacks on civilian and military targets throughout the Lake Chad Basin, resulting in thousands of deaths, injuries, and significant destruction of property.

“While Nigeria and regional partners have made progress in driving Boko Haram from much of the territory it held in northern Nigeria, the group kept control over some territory and maintained its ability to carry out asymmetric attacks.”

While noting that coordination of the antiterrorism operations were mostly coordinated by the Office of the National Security Advisor, ONSA, the report stressed that “the level of interagency cooperation and information sharing was limited.”

It added that; “Among the problems that deterred or hindered more effective law enforcement and border security by the Nigerian government were a lack of coordination and cooperation between Nigerian security agencies; a lack of biometrics collection systems and the requisite databases; corruption; misallocation of resources; the slow pace of the judicial system, including a lack of timely arraignment of suspected terrorist detainees; and lack of sufficient training for prosecutors and judges to understand and carry out the Terrorism (Prevention) Act of 2011 (as amended).”

Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsola is aNaija247news' Southwest editor. He's based in Lagos and writes on the Yoruba Nation political issues, news and investigative reports

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