Boko Haram: British parliament lauds Nigeria, pledges support
At the weekend, the efforts of the Nigerian military forces in pushing back the insurgents in the North East of the nation received accolades in the British Parliament.
The commendation came on the day the British parliament was recalled to vote for military action against the international terrorist threats. Sir Nick Harvey, a Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Defense and member of the British Parliament praised the efforts of the Nigerian military in fighting the Boko Haram insurgency.
The support and praises came just a day before the last victorious push by the Nigerian troops against the insurgents during the weekend.
According to the Defense Headquarters statement in Abuja, “dare devil and ready to die terrorists continued to push against the military despite receiving heavy bashing in the last two weeks in North-Eastern Nigeria.
The defense said the weekend was one of victory over the insurgents as they sustained land and air assaults on their territories with much casualty.
“During the period, many of their top commanders including the one pretending to be Shekau were eliminated. Nonetheless, splinters cells continued to confront the military in fierce battle but Nigerian troops vanquished them although with casualties on both sides,” it noted.
At the British Parliament, Sir Harvey, former Minister of State for the Armed Forces, said that: “I have a great respect for the Nigerian soldiers who are currently working so hard to overcome the threat of Boko Haram terrorism in their country. Many areas of the world are facing the threat of terrorism at this time and many countries will be standing by Nigeria in spirit at this difficult time.”
This international show of support for the efforts of the Nigerian troops was a reaction and fallout of the most successful week the security forces had in recent times over Boko Haram after their intensified assault on the region where they had devised a new strategy of taking cities as their base and conquest territories.
In a significant development, over 260 Boko Haram fighters last week surrendered after sustained pressure from the federal troops. This comes at a time when both US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron had at the UN General Assembly drawn the world’s attention to the link between Boko Haram and the global terror threat.
The two leaders also called for sustained international action against funding of terror groups and asked the world leaders to take a more decisive action to block every source of terror funding all over the world.
While much of the world’s attention has been focused on on-going airstrikes, the Nigerian military has been working on the ground to contain the threat of Boko Haram’s violent extremism.
To many military observers and commentators, the Nigerian forces are being seen as the blueprint of how to effectively overcome the threat of terrorist insurgency.
It is becoming increasingly clear that important lessons can be learnt from the Nigerian example.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria defence office at the weekend in clarifying the situation at the war zone said it “gathered from top military sources that despite the progress being made in efforts to decimate and contain insurgents, splinter cells of the terrorists group are still trying to carry out snap attacks on some communities. They were however effectively beaten back in communities such as Konduga, Benishek and Damboa where they made a number of attempts on Thursday and Friday September 25-26, 2014.”
A multi barrel T55 tank, 9 rifles, two Machine Guns, two Rocket Propelled Grenade tubes, five boxes of ammunition and other weapons were captured from them while over 40 of the terrorists died in the encounters in the three locations.
Troops also conducted a raid on terrorists’ enclave at Shindig. In all the operations a total of 11 soldiers died while 15 others are being treated for injuries sustained in the battles. Three are still missing.
Meanwhile, air and land operations continued on Saturday and Sunday to clear the terrorists from other communities where their activities have become prevalent recently in the states under the state of emergency.