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Old 01-29-2015   #201
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Quote:
Islamic extremists are rampaging through villages in northeast Nigeria's Adamawa state, killing, burning and looting with no troops deployed to protect civilians, fleeing villagers said Wednesday.

More than 40 people have been killed in seven villages as houses and mosques have been burned down and businesses and homes looted this week, according to Emmanuel Kwache and state legislator Adamu Kamale.
Quote:
Ba'malum, who lost her husband in the chaos of her flight, is among more than 200,000 people taking refuge in Maiduguri.

The city of two million residents appears to be surrounded. Three roads lead to areas held by Boko Haram. The militants are believed to be attacking the fourth road leading to the northern city of Kano, according to residents too scared to leave though they fear an imminent attack.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/boko-ha...934479?cmp=rss
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Old 01-31-2015   #202
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Default Small nation helps Africa's biggest nation

Yes Nigeria needs help, step forward Chad:
Quote:
On Thursday, neighboring Chad sent a warplane and troops that drove the extremists out of a northeastern Nigeria border town (Malum Fatori) in the first such act by foreign troops on Nigerian soil.
Link:http://www.pulse.me/ap/254100d2c6d94...06e317d893b78?
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Old 02-04-2015   #203
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The BBC World Services Thomas Fessy has a long eport, with film footage and charts on recent events @ Baga. He recently visited refugee camps across the border (Lake Chad) in Chad.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-30987043

I missed spotting this, although I am not sure it is a good omen - as the Russian approach to COIN is hardly gentle and has no WHAM (not that the Nigerian state appears to be be gentle or use WHAM):
Quote:
More than 1,200 Nigerian security personnel are in Russia receiving anti-insurgent training by Russian special forces. The trainees on return will form a nucleus of the special forces brigade to in particular combat the Boko Haram terrorist group.
Link:http://www.eurasiareview.com/2310201...pecial-forces/

I do recall Nigeria sent some personnel to North Korea for training too, awhile ago now.
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Old 02-07-2015   #204
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Default AP's bureau chief in Lagos explains

At last an explanation why the coverage is so limited. His account ends with:
Quote:
This may give a partial answer to those who have been wondering these past few weeks why Nigeria doesn't lead the news bulletins day after day after day. There's not just the regularity of the attacks - another Boko Haram atrocity in Nigeria isn't going to knock a rare one in Paris off the front pages internationally - but the relentless lack of certainty.
Increasingly we like neat packages of information, something easily understood, with arresting images, that can be summarised in 140 characters or a hashtag.
In the Boko Haram insurgency, there’s never a complete picture, just snippets of unimaginable horror and an attempt to fill in the gaps before bracing for the next attack.
Link:http://blogs.afp.com/correspondent/?...a#.VNZjTSxj7Ai
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Old 02-09-2015   #205
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Default Softly, softly: the humanitarian schemes aimed at countering BH

Sounds grand doesn't it:
Quote:
Now the government and some private philanthropists are deliberately linking the two by rolling out schemes to provide economic opportunities and humanitarian support as antidotes to militancy.
The Presidential Initiative for Northeast Nigeria (PINE)

PINE is basically a Marshall Plan for the region, allocated US$25 million* for 2015. It links security to social and economic interventions in a classic hearts-and-minds “soft power” strategy. It promises “immediate relief to affected states in the northeast while putting the region on a strong footing for economic resurgence and long-term sustainable viability”, says an overview document.

According to PINE, an estimated 5.9 million people are affected by the crisis: 4 million are food insecure; 1.5 million are displaced (a higher figure than the government’s disaster agency, NEMA, uses); health facilities are closed; IDP host communities are stretched; and humanitarian access is severely limited. The violence has halted infrastructure projects, created massive unemployment and triggered the flight of skilled workers and traders south.
Link:http://www.irinnews.org/report/10110...m#.VNkAz0ZOLCQ

Personally this sounds more like a "finger in the dyke" long after BH punched a gap in the dyke.
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Old 02-18-2015   #206
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Default BH Toyota 4x4 now plus 105mm gun(s)!

A short Boko Harem video (90 seconds) which features HMG / light cannon on trucks / jeeps and at least one 105mm Anglo-Italian pack howitzer in action, which I assume has been captured from the Nigerian Army (which has them):http://sendvid.com/xjne3w98

Wiki on the gun:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OTO_Melara_Mod_56 and a short film showing how it is a pack:http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=867_1296317636
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Old 03-04-2015   #207
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Default Nigeria gets help

Thomas Fessy (BBC World Service) has a lengthy report on:
Quote:
At last, Nigeria and its neighbours - Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Benin - have a plan for their Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to fight Boko Haram's Islamist militants. The plan has now been approved by the African Union.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-31695508#?

Numerous un-named diplomats are cited,, who are shall I say cautiously optimistic. Just how Nigeria, with possibly a new President will respond is very unclear IMHO.
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Old 03-05-2015   #208
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Default Nigeria gets PMC help from South Africa

A South African report on the convoluted context for:
Quote:
Beeld newspaper had reported that former SADF soldiers would form the core of a multinational team of private military experts, who were then en route to Nigeria, to help the NDF fight against Boko Haram militants. The 100-strong team had been tasked with training the Nigerian military to launch a massive campaign against the terrorist organisation.

They have been in country for a significant time already, involved in training some specialised NDF units. As per normal they are now deployed in an advisory capacity at the front. This includes being deployed with the NDF special forces, artillery, armour and infantry units on the ground. ‘Most of the gunships [Mi 24 Hinds] are being piloted by former SAAF members and they are flying a huge number of sorties, including nocturnal operations, with great success. There is also close involvement at HQ level, assisting in the planning of operations and the coordination / interpretation of the intelligence effort.
Link:http://www.issafrica.org/iss-today/b...h-south-africa

Clear shades of the campaign in SW Africa / Namibia.
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Old 03-16-2015   #209
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Default Rare access to former Boko Haram-held towns

An all too short report from NE Nigeria, including the town of Baga and an optimistic ending after the official Nigerian Army spokesman's portion. Film clip:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-31902503
The transcript / report:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-31902549

Unlike recent, external reporting no mention of mercenaries let alone the regional partnership - poorer natiosn helping their rich neighbour.
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Old 03-23-2015   #210
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Default Boko Haram exploits army's decline

In recent days I have spotted a few articles commenting on the apparent decline of Nigeria's military, made even clearer as I have stated before, as its poorer neighbours take the offensive.

This South African article is typical, except for this passage:
Quote:
In a small hospital in the Diffa region of southeastern Niger, a roomful of Nigerian soldiers wait patiently for medical workers to change their bandages. Their bullet wounds seep blood on to the floor of the whitewashed chamber. The air is heavy with the smell of disinfectant. These are just a handful of the roughly 300 Nigerian forces that retreated across the border in November 2014, after militant Islamist group Boko Haram attacked the town of Malam Fatori in Nigeria’s northeast.
Now, lying three to a bed in a foreign country, they are silent and defeated. A stronger image for the hopelessness hanging over the nation’s army could scarcely exist.
Link:http://mg.co.za/article/2015-03-19-b...armys-decline?

So Nigeria has left its wounded soldiers since November 2014 in another country's hospital, it is now March 2015 - an image of hopelessness is hardly strong enough.
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Old 03-28-2015   #211
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Interesting insights on BH from South Florida University

http://www.usfglobalinitiative.org/n...ights-issue-1/

Quote:
•Since Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announcement to postpone the national election, Boko Haram has lost 80% of the territory in Northeast Nigeria seized as part of their Caliphate and has also suffered 73% of the total fatalities in the last 5 weeks of operations. The Nigerian security services (with multinational allies) are on the verge of holding true the guarantee to provide security for the February 28th elections. However, the Nigerian Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Kenneth Minimah indicated that elections may not hold in recaptured territories due to the absence of government structures as well as the challenge of providing security for returnees during the elections.
•Although military forces have weakened Boko Haram and “cleared” all but a few Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Borno state, the population does not have faith to return to their villages due to ongoing security issues and lack confidence in the military to provide long term security. The general perception in the north is that the physical recapture of towns and villages is not the same thing as providing security.
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Old 03-28-2015   #212
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Default Does this picture tell a story?

The photo came via Twitter from a Nigerian-American and with this text:
Quote:
Women in Maiduguri waiting for accreditation. There is no better evidence of rejection of BokoHaram
IIRC this city, Maiduguri, was surrounded by Boko Haram and under intermittent attack.

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Old 03-28-2015   #213
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
The photo came via Twitter from a Nigerian-American and with this text:

IIRC this city, Maiduguri, was surrounded by Boko Haram and under intermittent attack.

While this is good news, rejecting BH is not enough, Nigeria must fight BH to the finish. It goes back to the strong do as they will, and the weak do as they must. Chad isn't overly impressed with the Nigerian military's fighting capability and will to fight. No doubt a lot of factors contribute to that, but the interesting point in the article below is we're back to the Cold War paradigm of partnering with anyone who will actually fight, versus partnering with partners of choice based on mutually aligned ideas and interest.

From the SWJ News Roundup

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/28/wo...ref=world&_r=0

Chad Strongman Says Nigeria Is Absent in Fight Against Boko Haram

Quote:
“We want the Nigerians to come and occupy, so we can advance,” Mr. Déby complained in an interview at his palace last week. “We’re wasting time, for the benefit of Boko Haram,” he added. “We can’t go any further in Nigeria. We’re not an army of occupation.”
Quote:
Diplomats and analysts acknowledge that the Nigerians have finally gotten into the fight, along with the help of South African mercenaries. But they still view Chad as an indispensable force. “I don’t see any way of successfully confronting the Boko Haram without Chadian assistance,” said the veteran diplomat.

That Western recognition for Mr. Déby and his army chafes, in turn, at the opposition and civil society in Chad, systematically locked out of power for years.
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Old 03-31-2015   #214
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I have often cited Virginia Comolli, from IISS as a SME on BH and Nigeria. Soon she has a book published, which has excellent reviews:http://www.hurstpublishers.com/book/boko-haram/

Hat tip to save £ or US$ plus. If you register with Hurst for publication notices you can order a book pre-publication, at a reduced price and with free international P&P. This book is £16, not £20.
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Old 04-03-2015   #215
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http://theweek.com/articles/547474/n...ction-big-deal

Nigeria just had a peaceful election. This is a big deal

Quote:
And Buhari is not a perfect person. He is a former military ruler of the country and was known for a poor human rights record. But he is seen as above corruption, and many feel that his autocratic touch might actually be what the country needs to defeat the Boko Haram insurgency — which was reportedly behind an attempt on his life in 2014. And Buhari put forward a more inclusive face this cycle, uniting the opposition behind him and garnering the Christian votes that failed him in 2003.
Quote:
Bit by bit, slowly but surely, under our very noses, Africa, known for extravagant dictatorship and corruption, is moving towards democracy, accountability, and the rule of law. It's been a two-steps-forward-one-step-back process, still enormously frustrating, but over the past decades the trend is unmistakable. Most experts agree governance and corruption is Africa's biggest bottleneck when it comes to development. And once that is improved enough, Africa's excellent demographics mean it will become an economic and political powerhouse.
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Old 04-10-2015   #216
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Vice News has just uplifted the first of three reports from Northern Nigeria, it appears they were embedded with the Nigerian Army. The first clip, 9.5 mins, features interviews with civilians in the main. It is grim, although not with graphic footage:https://news.vice.com/video/the-war-...-haram-part-1?
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Old 04-11-2015   #217
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Default Advisers on display

The next two Vice film clips are now available. The second is not great and in places one did wonder what the Nigerian Army was doing (from my amateur armchair):https://news.vice.com/video/the-war-...o-haram-part-2

The third clip shows the Nigerian Army on the offensive, to retake a town Bama maybe fourteen miles beyond Magiduri. Some softening up by 155mm artillery, the use of a small armoured team (T62 & BMP) and helicopter support, including Mi8 HInd gunships. Bizarrely the reporter refers to reports of Chadian help and foriegn advisers, then says it is an all-Nigerian victory:https://news.vice.com/video/the-war-...o-haram-part-3

There is a very short clip (starts at 10:46) which suggests the advisers were far more important, as they had wheeled APCs - which the Nigerian Army unit did not have and if you stop the film at 11:01 you see a parade with at least eight white advisers and two or three at the front conducting the parade.
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Old 04-14-2015   #218
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Default Dad's Army in Nigeria: South Africa's aging mercenaries

A round up in The Guardian on those black and white South Africans, who fought thirty years ago in their 'small wars', notably in SW Africa (now Namibia) and today "advising" in Nigeria:
Quote:
Who are the members of this dad’s army, willing to risk death abroad and prosecution at home to fight someone else’s war? What is their motivation? And are they welcomed by those they are ostensibly helping?
Link:http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...-on-boko-haram

Their activity is not popular back home, indeed the government says they will be prosecuterd - even if "advising" the Nigerian state.

Helmoed Heitman a veteran South African journalist on military matters sums them up best:
Quote:
They have no problem working with black guys and don’t have a racial hangup. Most people in Africa have long since realised this. What they look for is someone with real shooting experience. The old SANDF are not always liked, necessarily, but they are highly regarded.
As I posted in the current Nigeria thread you can spot them sometimes, in Post 213:
Quote:
There is a very short clip (starts at 10:46) which suggests the advisers were far more important, as they had wheeled APCs - which the Nigerian Army unit did not have and if you stop the film at 11:01 you see a parade with at least eight white advisers and two or three at the front conducting the parade.
Link:https://news.vice.com/video/the-war-...o-haram-part-3

In a Post 204:A South African report on the convoluted context for
Quote:
Beeld newspaper had reported that former SADF soldiers would form the core of a multinational team of private military experts, who were then en route to Nigeria, to help the NDF fight against Boko Haram militants. The 100-strong team had been tasked with training the Nigerian military to launch a massive campaign against the terrorist organisation.

They have been in country for a significant time already, involved in training some specialised NDF units. As per normal they are now deployed in an advisory capacity at the front. This includes being deployed with the NDF special forces, artillery, armour and infantry units on the ground. ‘Most of the gunships [Mi 24 Hinds] are being piloted by former SAAF members and they are flying a huge number of sorties, including nocturnal operations, with great success. There is also close involvement at HQ level, assisting in the planning of operations and the coordination / interpretation of the intelligence effort.
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Old 04-15-2015   #219
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Sounds more effective than a Hashtag campaign.
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Old 04-15-2015   #220
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Cameroon, Nigeria's eastern neighbour rarely features in external reporting, partly as its president has been in power since 1982, so hat tip to WoTR for a review:http://warontherocks.com/2015/04/fig.../?singlepage=1

Cameroon the author says has similar features to Nigeria (its far richer n'bor), in particular between the Christian south and the poorer Muslim north.
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