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Joachim Veliocas
Joachim Veliocas

Boko Haram and the Bloody Week in Africa

Friday 19/April/2019 - 03:02 PM
طباعة

In less than 10 days, Boko Haram launched attacks in the Sahel countries, including Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon.

 In Nigeria, at least 3 killed and 30 wounded in a suicide attack in the northeastern capital of Maudoguri on April 6.

On April 9, Boko Haram attacked Damatoru in Yobe state while the regular army was preparing for such an attack.  Boko haram had launched their attack on Damatur at around 5:45 pm (0445 GMT) Adamo Sani, told Agence France-Presse.

“The locals are looking for shelter and the shops are closed while trucks carrying soldiers are heading into the city,” he said.

We are all praying for the soldiers to confront these terrorists.

Boko Haram had launched an attack in December 2014 on Damaturu, killing more than 150 people, including 38 policemen.

In the same year, an explosive attack killed 21 citizens who were watching a football match in a public place. The new attack comes from book Haram as the Nigerian military prepares to launch an attack against the terrorist group in the neighboring state of Borno.

The spokesman for the National Agency for Emergency Situations, Abdelkader Ibrahim, said that 2,000 people arrived in Meduguri, the capital of Borno, on Tuesday and were evacuated by the army because of a military operation to destroy the rebels in the region.

 A military official said there were preparations for a major operation against the West African Islamic Group (ISWAP). Residents of Jekana, 40 km from Maiduguri, were taken by truck to a camp for displaced people in the city.

Niger

On 9 April, Deva, one of the largest cities in southeastern Niger, was attacked by Boko Haram. The gunmen attacked the central gendarmerie barracks in the city of 200,000 people, located a few kilometers from the border of Nigeria.

 After several hours of fighting with the Nigerian security forces, the attackers, with explosive belts, holed up in the house of a gendarme, taking hostages and then detonating themselves, according to the secretary-general of the province of Deva, Yahya Jodi and Masadrakhri.

“We do not have a final assessment so far, but the temporary assessment of the casualties shows that two of our members were killed, and on the other side our forces killed two and recovered their arsenal," Yahya Jodi told AFP.  

ISWAP claimed responsibility for the attack on Wednesday, according to SITE, a US center specializing in electronic surveillance of the jihadi movement.

The group claimed a commando unit of four suicide bombers killed and wounded dozens of Nigerian soldiers. According to a senior local official, the armed elements from Boko Haram entered the city at about 21:30 (2030 GMT) on Tuesday evening (April 9th).

 Residents then heard shots and explosions coming from the headquarters of the gendarmerie. An unidentified local official, who asked not to be identified, said the assailants targeted several sites without giving further details. "They attacked mainly the gendarmerie, where the shooting continued until 4 am.

They were pursued by the security forces and the attackers took refuge in the house of a gendarmerie and held several hostages," Yahya Jodi said.

 According to the local official, the operation was still ongoing at 11 o'clock, but Yahya Jodi did not say whether the hostages were killed in the blasts or were taken out of the scene.

In March alone, 88 civilians died in these cowardly attacks in Niger, according to the United Nations, compared to 107 in 2018 as a whole.

 Chad

 On 14 - 15 April, members of Boko Haram attacked the town of Pohama in the Lake Chad region. Seven Chadian soldiers have been killed and 15 others injured and 63 killed among the terrorists, the military said.

“The terrorists attacked our forces at midnight in the town of Buhama around Kajakindjitia in the Lake Chad region,” army spokesman Colonel Azim Bermandwa said, adding that 63 terrorists had been killed and Chadian Defense Minister Daoud Yaya Ibrahim and Army Chief of Staff Taherreda arrived at the scene on Monday 15 April to assess the situation.

 Taherreda, who was recently appointed chief of staff of the armed forces, is a close associate of President Idriss Deby Itno. He replaced Ibrahim Saeed Mahama on March 22. The latter was sacked following a brutal attack in the southwest of the country that killed 23 Chadian soldiers, one of the bloodiest operations against the army since the war began.

 Cameroon

 On April 7, three Cameroonian soldiers were killed in an attack in northern Cameroon. Boko Haram group of the Islamic state claimed responsibility for the incident. This faction claims to have killed and wounded at least twenty soldiers, according to Voice of America.

 Cameroon, which faces the insurgency of separatist Inglidian groups not associated with Boko Haram, has suffered largely from jihadists since 2014. Despite the deployment of 3,000 troops on the border in the north, the country has been unable to prevent violent incursions by jihadists. Sixty people were kidnapped in Mokolo in the far north of the country in January 2015.

 The broad geographical spread across the border to Boko Haram is raising concerns that the statements of some researchers who estimate the number of fighters of the terrorist group more than 10,000 may be correct. The French army estimated the number of these fighters to be 7000 in 2015. Since then, this number has not seemed to decline because of repeated attacks.

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