AFRICANGLOBE – Security chiefs from Nigeria, Chad and Niger met in Abuja Monday to appraise their ongoing joint counterterrorism operations against the Boko Haram terrorist group.
“Coordinated by Nigeria’s Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh who set the meeting in motion declaring that the essence was to fine tune the coordination of the activities of the collaborative efforts of the operations, the meeting eventually resolved to establish a structure for joint planning to enhance the operations and consolidate on the successes so far achieved in the mission with a view to accelerating the tempo of operations,” Nigeria’s defense spokesman Chris Olukolade said in a statement.
Participants agreed to set up a joint operations headquarters to help boost anti-Boko Haram operations.
“The three countries actively involved in the ongoing operation namely, Nigeria, Chad and Niger are expected to utilize the structure to beef up their liaison teams already operating in the mission area,” the statement said.
“The arrangement is to enhance operational and tactical coordination as well as the synchronization of command, control and communication in the field and the higher headquarters,” it added.
“The structure will operate in cognizance of existing bilateral and multilateral documents and understanding among the countries.”
The statement said the meeting also agreed to enhance “correct reportage” of the operations to guard against “observed trend of sensationalism, propaganda or misleading reports emanating from certain quarters claiming to be reporting the mission.”
Following years of violence by Boko Haram with largely inefficient response from Nigeria and her neighbors, a joint operation by Chad, Nigeria and Niger was launched on Feb. 14, resulting in almost instant rollback in territorial gains made by the savages.
Tens of thousands have been killed and more than a million displaced as a result of the crisis which began early 2000 as a religious movement but turned bloody in 2009 following the killing of Boko Haram leader Mohammed Yusuf.