How to defeat Boko Haram in the Sahel region – Perspectives by Taiwo Lawrence Adeyemi

How to defeat Boko Haram in Sahel region is possible, according to Taiwo Lawrence Adeyemi.

The G-5 Sahel countries and by extension Nigeria and Cameroon must seriously go back to engaging extremists and jihadists drawing board in dealing with the continued and ceaseless and coordinated attacks on these countries namely; Mali, Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, Chad, and Burkina Faso.

The activities of extremists and jihadists are becoming more pronounced.

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS] is effective in about 45 countries across the world. Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS] is the richest terrorists organization in the world. 

In 2015 Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS] was said to have an annual budget of more than $1.5 billion and a force of more than 30,000 fighters. Ninety percent of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS] weapons originated from China, Russia, Eastern Europe and captured weapons of Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi stockpiles and taming, curtailing them and break their numerous cells will require a dedicated, committed, relentless and sophisticated measure. Islamic State of West Africa Province [ISWAP] and Islamic State in the Greater Sahel [ISGS] pledges allegiance to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS].

France with over 4,500 strong Operation Barkhane counter terrorism force that is permanently stationed in N’Djamena, Chad has not made any meaningful and the much needed impact the fight against extremists and jihadists onslaught on both civilians and military targets in; Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad. France lost 13 of its troops in Mali helicopter crashed with different information attributed to the cause of the fatal helicopter crash.

France Air-force – ‘Escadron de Drones 1/33 Belfort’ has in its fleet the world dreaded MQ-9 Reaper and Predator Drone – [MQ-9 Reaper [Predator B] System a product of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems [GA-ASI] “Predator B-001” hunter killer unmanned aerial vehicle [uav], high altitude surveillance, a proof of concept aircraft first flew on 2nd February 2001, designed by Abraham Karem. The “Predator-B-001” powered by AlliedSignal Garrett TPE 331-10T]

Predator and Reaper Drone can effectively track Ballistic Missile, Intelligence Tracking Flow, Capturing Photos, and Geo-spatial locations, yet this most feared air arsenal has not been deployed by France in its military combat mission in the G-5 Sahel operation against extremists and jihadists attacks. US Air-force, Belgium, Australia, Germany, Dominican Republic, India, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and National Space and Administration Agency [NASA] has in their fleet the deadliest Reaper Drone – Predator.

In November 2018, Nigerian Air-force [NAF] placed an order for the purchasing of 12 A-29 Super Tucanos Light Aircraft from Embraer Defense and Security and its partner Sierra Nevada Corporation [SNC] for $329 million, six of which are to be fitted with forward-looking infrared systems. The 12 Super Tucanos aircraft jets are scheduled to be completed in May 2024 and delivered to Nigeria in the same year.

Under the contract, Embraer and Sierra Nevada Corporation [SNC] will provide ground training devices, mission planning systems, mission debrief systems, spares, ground support equipment, and alternate mission equipment. The contract also involves the delivery of contiguous US interim contractor support, outside of continental US [OCONUS] contractor logistic support and field service representatives for Outside of Continental US [OCONUS] support.

The Super Tucanos light aircraft’s is to use in the battle against Boko Haram Terrorists and Islamic State of West Africa Province [ISWAP] jihadists – who pledges allegiance to Islamic State of West Africa Province [ISIS]. While the A-29 Super Tucano light aircraft may not achieve the needed desired results in the battle against the relentless and fanatical extremists and jihadists that continued to hang the entire Nigeria’s northeastern part in the balance is the conspiracy theory of sabotage, subversion and lack of intelligence tracking flow.

Also, Nigerian Air-force took delivery of two Agusta A-109 Combat helicopters in its effort to combat the restless and effontry of Ansaru [ISWAP] and Boko Haram Terrorists in the north-eastern part of Nigeria.

The G-5 Sahelian countries [Mali, Mauritania, Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso] remains the hotbed and presumably Nigeria’s security nightmares. The weapons, ammunition, incendiaries, affiliates, training, and supplies used by Boko Haram Terrorists and Islamic State of West Africa Province [ISWAP] are all routed through these G-5 Sahel countries from Libya.

US interests in Niger Republic could be ascribed to the country riches in uranium which is a key component in making bombs and US is simply keeping a tab on Niger Republic to forestall Niger Republic uranium falling into Russia, Iran and China’s table. Niger has two significant uranium mines providing about 5% of the world mining output from Africa’s highest grade uranium ores. Niger’s first commercial uranium began operation in 1971 with strong uranium expansion mining.

The killing of US troops by extremists and jihadists in a roadside attack in Tongo Tongo ambush on 4th October 2017, when armed militants from the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara [ISGS] attacked Nigerien and US soldiers outside the village of Tongo Tongo, Niger while returning to base after a stop in the village. 

During the ambush, five Nigerien soldiers, four US soldiers and at least 21 Islamic State in the Greater Sahara [ISGS] militants were killed and eight Nigerien’s and two US soldiers including the team commander were wounded in the day preceding the ambush, the Nigerien and US soldiers conducted mission attempting to locate and capture or kill Doundou Chefou, a commander in the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara [ISGS]. 

The ambush sparked political debate over the presence of US Forces in Africa and brought attention to previously under reported US military activities in the Sahel region. The ambush prompted congressional inquiries and an investigation by the US Department of Defense inquiry completed in 2018 found that the 11-member US Special Forces team was not prepared for the mission and identified other flaws. The ambush remains the largest loss of American lives in combat military operation in Africa since the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993.

The Nigerien military suffered another deadly attacks on its formation on Thursday 9th January, when over 95 military personnel were killed by suspected extremists and jihadists in Chinagodrar border town on Niger’s border with Mali. More than 4,000 deaths were recorded in 2019 in the seamless attacks by extremists and jihadists in the restive G-5 Sahel countries.

The G-5 Sahel countries [Mauritania, Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso and Niger] and France met in Pau, France, mid January, in their renewed efforts to combating and thwarting activities of Islamic State of West Africa Province [ISWAP], Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS], Boko Haram and Islamic State in the Greater Sahel [ISGS] extremists and jihadists in the G-5 Sahel countries, Nigeria and Cameroon.

With over 15,000 United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission [MINUSA] peace keeping force, stationed in Bamako, Mali the third largest UN peacekeeping force in the world, also in Mali are European Union missions EUCAP Sahel Mali, EUTM Mali and US Surveillance, Intelligence & Reconnaissance Air Base 201, in the northern city of Agadez, Niger. The Sahel and Greater Sahara has remain restive.

The sure-proof to end these continued and seamless attacks by extremists and jihadists could be the effective deployment and the use of ‘drones’.

Research & Data Analyst, Premium Times Center for Investigative Journalism [PTCIJ].

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