PHOTOS OF BAGA – AFP

A soldier stands beside an Otokar Cobra APC at Baga in the Far Northeast corner of Nigeria

A soldier stands beside an Otokar Cobra APC at Baga in the Far Northeast corner of Nigeria

Counterinsurgency troops at Baga

An Army Special Forces commando leads a squad of counterinsurgency troops at Baga

CTCOIN troops on patrol at Baga

An Army Special Forces commando leads CTCOIN troops on patrol at Baga

4WD van near Baga - sandwiched between the Lake Chad and the fringes of the Sahara

4WD van near Baga – sandwiched between the Lake Chad and the fringes of the Sahara

About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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52 Responses to PHOTOS OF BAGA – AFP

  1. beegeagle says:

    Loving the foot patrols in ‘scorched’ Baga…particularly the second photo where the guy watches out for his buddies.

    Well done, guys. Godspeed.

  2. jimmy says:

    These are special forces AS EVIDENCED by the black baseball cap.

  3. camouflage1984 says:

  4. Blackrev says:

    Nigerian army is starting to look more professional every year indeed. i saw the baga news on Aljazeera. kudos to that station for being more professional than our local excuse for stations here that make reports based on rumors. but our boys appearance na im just dey burst my head.

    • Henry says:

      None of our news stations are on the ground in baga. Foreign news agency are the ones telling us what is happening in our country. Not a single one of those pictures is from a news agency in nigeria. They prefer to seat in abuja and lagos print out rumours, never verify or corroborate their reports, and pass it on as facts.

  5. beegeagle says:

    @Camouflage1984, Thanks for sharing.

    Gentlemen, I listened to the HRW respondent on the BBC at about 18.10hrs(GMT+1) and that is likely to be aired again at about 20.06hrs(GMT+1).

    One would still want to know how, from the ashes of a burnt-out Baga, they enumerated 2,275 houses destroyed. Did he count 2,275 heaps of ashes? Somehow, he admits that they could not identify any mass graves. Listen for yourselves…if not live, listen to the podcast of BBC FOCUS ON AFRICA online and hear the chap who responded from America as he stuttered through the interview. Go on..listen and tell me what you heard.

    We are aware that prior to the 2006 census, the FG used NigeriaSat-1 to capture and DISPLAY imagery of all 36 state capitals as they are, so that nobody claims to have been under-enumerated. They pictured standing buildings, not flattened ones.

    * As we speak, our NigeriaSat-X is capturing and relaying images of Malian territory to Nigerian AFISMA contingent. Presumably, they are providing imagery of standing structures and not flattened ones.

    https://beegeagle.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/high-level-nigerian-military-team-visit-national-space-research-and-development-agency-nigeriasat-x-relaying-area-imagery-to-nigerian-afisma-contingent/

    * the last census in Nigeria was a population and housing census. If the FG have data for the number of houses enumerated in Baga, why not use that to pre-empt these people swinging from 2,000 to 4,000 houses destroyed, even as the AFP said 300 houses?

    * the FG should also use one of our satellites to do its own count and release satellite imagery to back up its own story. It is now time to get proactive. NigeriaSat-X and NigeriaSat-2, both launched in August 2011, had captured over 1,400 images as of December 2012.

    https://beegeagle.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/2-satellites-launched-in-2011-nigeriasat-2-and-nigeriasat-x-have-captured-1400-images-in-2-years-national-space-research-and-development-agency-of-nigeria/

    • originalpato says:

      I saw the BBC broadcast and viewed the satellite imagery from the HRW website and saw that they only presented a single image from a single location. At least the foreign media have journalist on ground unlike or local press who prefer to report from Abuja and Lagos.

  6. ocelot2006 says:

    Wow…..’seems the army has finally dumped the bulky Chinese amphibious bodyarmour for the more practical and locally produced Marom Dolphine combat vest. Excellent choice.

  7. Henry says:

    You can clearly see that the troops are walking/patrolling in tight formation. Full 360 degrees cover. Each soldier watching out for his brother in arms

    The photos above, particularly the 2nd and 3rd photos show astute training. It is impossible to say these troopers murdered 185 civilians. These photos tell a different tale.

    However for the love of christ, the army should hand special forces troops modern fire-arms. Give them tavor-21’s(macro) or the galil ACE

    • Anas says:

      Oga henry don’t u tink d AK 47 rifle is best suited to d dusty enviroment that these special forces guys r operatin in? Cos in afgahnistan most NATO soldiers r complainin of hw their fancy rifles easliy jams once it comes in contact wit dust

    • Akin Oges says:

      Quite impressive. The standard is very high, and up there with the best. I was bowled over by how switched-on the guys appeared (hall mark of Special Forces). Not that it detracts from the “A TRIPLE STARS” class act: it appears Special Forces are mixed with regular chaps, given the need for the SFs to conceal their identity whilst the regulars are obviously not constrained by such requirements, is this right? Either way, thumbs up NA for a good showing here. That said, NA must find a way to tell its own story without any self-hurting subterfuge. Reticent is a void, and nasty characters will dump in faeces to inflict utmost damage.

    • ocelot2006 says:

      Just issue them modified AK-47s with new M4 butttstocks, pistol grips, and Eotech optics, and they’ll be fine. The army should also issue side arms to these SF operators.

  8. Henry says:

    You are correct oga anas. However there are better improved variants of the AK the army can go for. The AK-102 comes to mind. Even the new AK rifles our police anti-terror units carry are also a good option.

    Improved accuracy, range and compactability with the same AK feel.

  9. demola says:

    how about their ak-74 i thought that was the standard for our army special forces

  10. peccavi says:

    I agree the patrolling skills from the broadcast and photos are a vast improvement on previous. Good spacing, holding weapons properly although heat no dey catch the point man in that balaclava?
    THe lack of webbing with spare ammo and kit is one downside but its a technicality one can overlook

  11. beegeagle says:

    There are two streams of troops injected into the NA’s CTCOIN operations, Akin.

    – we have the special forces, given perhaps six months of ab initio training and then proceeding on recurrency and advanced training for spells of three months, six months, eight months and one year depending on the specialist course on the cards. These are the SPECIAL FORCES as we know them the world over, trained everywhere from India to Israel, Pakistan to America and they belong to the SF battalions

    – then we have the ‘mass produced’ COIN-biased troops, initially trained at Kachia and Jaji in the hundreds in 3-4 weeks but who are now trained by the thousands in 6-8 week courses at the new NATRAC at Kontagora. They are put through a crash course in CTCOIN including IED identification, ambush defeat, hostage rescue, FIBUA, CQB, house clearing etc and they are drafted from all divisions of the NA and are put through these paces in lieu of pre-deployment training. They are expected to learn a lot more in the field and ‘sitting-by-Nellie’ (that is, from the SF chaps deployed in their AOR).

    This photo suggests to me that this is most probably a mixed squad of SF chaps(the guy in front is 100% SF)and COIN-biased troops.

    The NA have plans for a COIN division. So I suspect that since they are unlikely to train 15,000 SF commandos, there is a deliberate policy of raising COIN-biased troops who are given crash training and expected to raise their tactical awareness and professional competence by working alongside the SF chaps in the field wherever possible and expedient. They have now trained anywhere between 9,000 and 10,000 COIN-biased troops and they are in the field slugging it out.

    In the post-conflict period or as soon as the said COIN division is formed, these combat-savvy COIN-biased chaps, backed by a brigade of SF chaps, are probably going to form the core of the new division.

    • Akin Oges says:

      Mighty thanks The Beeg One. Always a well of enduring resource. May your water never run dry Sir. Loved all the salient details. Remain brilliant.

  12. Henry says:

    The training is good.

    I also agree with you. Every trooper should have at least 5 ammos, not the 3 I’m seeing in the photos.

    The thing is the army still has a long way to go in terms of properly kitting her personnel. The navy is miles ahead in that area.

    All in all it is a vast improvement from what the army used to be in the 90’s and early 20’s.

  13. G8T Nigeria says:

    Wow, so the inhabitants of baga never knew of these terrorists and calibre of weapons on ground. It goes to show the level of symapthy for Boko Haram fighters and its mission in Northern Nigeria.those weapons only confirm the existence of a camp ground in Baga.

    • peccavi says:

      Bros if Boko Haram moves in next door to you, what exactly do you want to do? Go and fight them?

      • G8T Nigeria says:

        Well, i expect them to Send alert info to Military hotlines immediately. This is battle situation stirring us so bad and no one in the midst of it shd claim ignorance or feel less concerned.

    • igbi says:

      Maybe we should withdraw our oïl assistance to the US.
      Their military “assistance” has never amounted to much anyway.
      It the same US that stopped Nigeria from getting long range rockets, what an assisteance.
      With friends like the US who needs enemies ?

    • Deway says:

      According to the Tribune May 2, “Efforts to confirm the story from Nigerian and the US embassy as of press time, however, failed, but a tweet from @USEmbassyAbuja denied the story, but stressed the importance of security forces’ respect for human rights”.
      So he story is false!

  14. peccavi says:

    Now contrast this BBC report with the AJE one. Focussinmg less on the content but on the presentation, the image is of a well equipped military, the FGN position is given right at the beginning of the piece, the spokesperson is facing camera, confident and well presented, the second half gives the counter view but by then most people have switched off, leaving an impression of a government in control of the situation. Very little things but there is a marked contrast between the two. Again you cannot control independent broadcasters but you can influence them, also the situation in the Delta is much longer running and less dangerous than the Far NE but the principles endure

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-22363059

  15. peccavi says:

    I agree the locals should inform the authorities but whether they did or didn’t is neither here nor there. They are Nigerian citizens and their lives and properties should be sacrosanct. This false equivalence of BH was in the area, therefore they must all be BH is dangerous and erroneous. Even if you phoned the military hotlines does that make you immune from retribution? The key thing is that if this was done by the security forces then the perpetrators should be punished. If it was done by BH then the security forces should craft a clear argument and put it out in the media. They have lost control of the message

    • igbi says:

      The soldiers have already given their reply.
      The soldiers never attacked unarmed men.
      Nigérians should be Wise enough to not fall into the trap of boko haram propaganda.

      • peccavi says:

        Soldiers never attack unarmed men?
        I take it you have not met many soldiers then

  16. igbi says:

    @peccavi, first I said “they never attacked unarmed men”, which means they didn’t attack unarmed men in Baga. And I will have you know Nigerian soldiers don’t shoot unarmed men who have not been sentenced to die by firing squiad. For your information my Dad used to be an army officer.

    • peccavi says:

      You are completely incorrect.Soldiers of all armies shoot unarmed civilians, lawfully and unlawfully. If you think otherwise then you do not know the military.

      If an unarmed civilian is on a mobile phone calling in mortar fire or sniper fire, is he a legitimate target or not? Can he be shot?

      If you believe Nigerian soldiers are somehow of sterner moral stuff than soldiers all over the world who shoot civilians sometimes for sound reasons, sometimes by mistake, sometimes for fun and sometimes out of indiscipline then bros no vex but your not serious

      • igbi says:

        1) Nigerian soldiers don’t kill people for fun.
        2) Nigerian soldiers are among the most disciplined in the world.
        I don’t know about your “Soldiers of all armies “, but I know Nigerian soldiers. So if you don’t have proof of your allégations then silence is king.

  17. Hussein says:

    Nice tight patrol formation, although the guy with an FN rifle on the left side of pictures two and three looks like a NAF airman to me or probably he is the dedicated squad marksman, which is a nice innovation by the NA.
    Secondly, I don’t seem to believe this Baga Massacre story, where are the evidence, no picture of the so called massacre with the prevalence of even cheap camera phones what we are seeing are so called satellite images that are not proven to be genuine

  18. peccavi says:

    @igbi: Odi, Zaki Biam, Asaba, Ogoniland, Maidugiir etc etc etc. What is the point of trying to claim Nigerian soldiers do not shoot unarmed civilians when this is patently not the case. It is that silly kind of flying in the face of reality comment that undermines credibility.
    Excesses happen in all armies. The Nigerian army has its fair share of historical abuses under its belt and more recent ones. Claiming otherwise is ridiculous.
    The issue is not whether abuses happen but what is done about it and how to prevent it happening again

    • igbi says:

      It is best you stopped confusing colleteral damages with killing for fun.
      If I were a Nigerian soldier, seeing how Nigérians easily go about insulting the army and insinuating things about the army then I would askmyself if it was Worth it putting my life in danger for you people.

  19. Hussein says:

    The Nigerian Security forces are ‘as guilty as hell’ when it comes to the issue of right abuses. Historical a lot of Massive right abuses have occurred during internal military engagements within the country. So the Baga case is not different, what is different is the scenario surrounding it.
    A situation where the civil populace allow themselves to be used as cannon fodders, then who is to be blamed. A security official who has operated within the Northeast axis before told me once that ”the greatest challenge they face over there is not with militants, but the civil populace who don’t cooperate’ Even I understand that the basic rules of engagements still give room for ‘collateral damages’ as this.
    Seriously I am not happy that my dear country is in this situation but rather than turn it
    into a media party the leaders of the northeast should talk to their people to stop harboring these militants

  20. kf says:

    I just came across a report that the insurgents attacked Marte local government using gun mounted Hilux vans. They basically ransacked the entire local government.
    This guys are strategically planning to hold territories that will serve as their forward operating bases. I think northern Borno is the theater for this manoeuver. Is our military up to the challenge or will they cede territory as happened with the Malians ?
    The local governments that have come under attack recently fall under that arc. Marte, Monguno Kakuwa and Dikwa .The next sets of confrontations will not be child’s play and the armed forces really have to be prepared to fight a well armed opponent and be prepared to ignore arm chair human right advocates who do not have the love of this country in their heart. Pls General Beeg shout this out loud and clear.

    • beegeagle says:

      General KF, I salute you and thank you for the clear-headed articulation which you have exhibited after only two weeks of joining us as a commenting member.I also recognise our returning cybergeneral from Kogi and my friend, Hussein of El Alamein. He’s been AWOL for a while now. All is forgiven.

      That said, sirs, Doziex and I have copiously pointed out the perils which lie ahead when technicals begin to play a more prominent role in the battles. That day is upon us now.

      ELSEWHERE IN JANUARY 2012, BEEGEAGLE WROTE:

      Well, we have been saying that soon enough we shall see BH insurgents mounting cross-border attacks in Toyota 4WDs armed with 107mm RCLs and ZPU-2 14.5mm HMGs.

      We need to prepare for these guys are indifferent enough to do just that, if only to hug the headlines – something which thrills them to no end. We need to plan towards forestalling that.

      Chadians love attacks in 4WDs mounted with Type 63 107mm MRLs, similar calibre RCLs and 12.7mm/14.5mm/23mm AAGs. Remember that the 1980s war with Libya in the Aouzou Strip was dubbed the “Toyota War?”. Does anyone remember the invasion(Feb 2008?) of Ndjamena by rebels who stormed the city in a convoy of 300 Toyota gun-trucks launched from inside Sudan?

      Are we preparing for that prospect as insurgents go looting banks and now probably have millions of dollars to spend on cheap arms? Are we preparing to ward off that kind of onslaught? We should be mounting 107mm MRLs and 23mm cannons on some Toyotas as preemptive measures since the Otokar Cobra and Panhard VBLs are not armed with anything as destructive as those.

      We mean every word of the foregoing. We should prepare for that prospect which seems like a distinct possibility for the very near future. They know what they do not have in their arsenal, know what would optimize their chances against Nigerian troops and are almost certainly working towards that after the major setbacks which they suffered in Damaturu and Potiskum.

      Has anyone thought about the possibility or catastrophic impact of an invading convoy of just 25 Toyota gun-trucks setting out from inside Niger Republic at midnight and arriving in Kano at 0500 hrs, suicide bombers in tow, IEDs and grenades being flung in all directions while 107mm MRLs let go salvo after salvo in fully built-up areas?

      Given the element of surprise entailed, what would our response be from the perspective of quick reaction and commensurate firepower with mobility entailed? To drive home the point that these guys have no intentions of talking to anybody, watch and see whether these indiscriminate attacks do not continue.

      https://beegeagle.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/arms-from-libya-could-reach-boko-haram-al-qaeda-united-nations/

      • jimmy says:

        I have posed a very troubling question that neither OGA IGBI, PECCAVI, DOZIEX , FREEGULF or yours truly have not answered about BAGA let me repeat it
        1) What if the b.h. had no intention of leaving these types of border/ no man land type of towns is collateral damage as bad / despicable as it may seen unavoidable?
        2) They know now that they can’t hold on to a single hamlet for more than a week and word gets out to the jtsf and they are done so now what will be there next step?
        3)The reason why the convoy worked because of a lack of real time intel and a lack of air superiority THE NAF has already proved they can deal with such a situation very handily that is not a situation that will cause much sleepless night better yet let the bunch together that ideal situation to take them out in one fall swoop .

  21. peccavi says:

    @ Oga Jimmy:
    I’ve said before the 4 games changers that will come as the insurgency evolves will be
    1) Defining ungoverned spaces by capturing remote towns and villages, defining them as liberated areas where they will impose their interpretation of sharia law. I would suggest the recent pattern of events supports this direction
    2) The use of indirect fire weapons such as mortars or rockets against security forces or population centres
    3) Attacks against aircraft
    4) Attacks in the core south, i,e east/ south south/ west
    In answer to your questions:
    1) Collateral damage is key to the strategy. Look at the reams and reams of coverage that Baga has received all showing the Nigerian security forces in a bad light. The key terrain is the PEOPLE and by ruling the people even temporarily and using their towns and villages to harass the security forces they are guaranteed to cause not just a reaction but an over reaction which will cause civilian casualties, bad publicity and garner sympathy for BH amongst the impressionable members of the Islamic world. Has BH said a single word about Baga? No. The entire story is being generated and distributed virally. Check Arabic/ Hausa language Twitter or Facebook and see what is being said. Irrespective of the body count Baga is a strategic victory for BH. I do not abhor civilian casualties simply because I believe life is sacrosanct, it is simply bad tactics to get yourself drawn into these situations. The aftermath is always worse than the actual event.
    2) The answer is above, they define an ungoverned space use it to refit, rest, feed, train and gather new recruits, make IEDS, launch attacks all from within the PEOPLE. When the JSTF retaliates, they give token resistance and then melt away
    3) Nigeria has air superiority, the coalition had air superiority in Iraq, NATO has air superiority in Afghanistan, the Russians have air superiority in Chechenya. The French have air superiority in Mali. Air superiority is a force multiplier in COIN but to be honest not decisive. What we are not using is surveillance devices and more important ground recce

    • doziex says:

      Oga Peccavi, you are right, The KDF in somalia, the french in mali, Nato in iraq and afghanistan, has demonstrated, that Air superiority is the answer.

      However, what is the quality of NA’s air superiority ? Even the UK forces in afghanistan, at times, complained of having not enough helicopters, inspite of the presense of their apaches and other types.

      Is NAF ready to do what the french just did in mali ?

      This blog, has been clamouring for our authorities to take this conflict seriously, and equip our brave soldiers accordingly.

      Who thinks that 11 Mi-24/35s would be enough to pacify the niger delta and the worsening situation in the north east ? Especially, when you have mounted 50 cals and RPG-7s shooting upwards ?

      Somebody in GEJ’s administration, has made the calculation that our existing paltry force would suffice.
      I hope nigerians hold that incompetent fool responsible, as events prove that that isn’t the case.

  22. (@lordfej) says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0qgYFUQJ3E please guys watch some boko people asking for amnesty

    • tim says:

      The guy in the background is SBS,telling by his camo,they need a better lawyer,their lawyer can’t even express himself properly.

  23. peccavi says:

    Saw that last night and was thinking the JSTF boys are reading this blog and getting their game together. Its good but again a few more tips on presentation.
    Whats with the interview in the car? Follow the DSS example (or Mexicans when they capture drug kingpins) and have them surrounded by a few tough looking balaclaved men in a room with simple chairs. It gives an impression of control and strength, interviewing them in a car just looks hurried and furtive, its important as noted to show the security forces in the vicinity as it reinforces subconsciously the impression of FGN strength and dominance. Ensure that the journalists meet bona fide VICTIMS of BH. Every story must include victims of BH atrocities, let the government ensure the people no what we are fighting for and not just what we are fighting against. If the People are Key terrain then Communications/ messaging is Vital Ground in COIN. Its an easy win but we are too reactive

  24. Henry says:

    Haha……. Nobody does it better than the mexicans, when it comes to presenting drug dealers/ narco terrorists to the media.

    2 drug dealers
    12 fully kitted, balaclaved special forces troops or marines, behind them,
    2 black hawk helicopters or MRAP’s in a hanger.

    For our DSS, it usually 2 fully kitted agents with balaclavas, armed with FN F2000’s with grenade launchers, behind 4-6 suspects.

    I however like the SBS chap in the video, he is well kitted, armed with a tavor-21 and very vigilant.

    *The body armour of SBS chaps seems different from that of regular soldiers( I.e army, navy or airforce)

    this aljazeera reporter seems pretty honest too, yvonne ndege( I think she is kenyan), she made it very clear that they were no PRE-CONDITIONS by the military before the interview. it shows professionalism.

    Then again, the mexicans really know how to put on a show though.

    • peccavi says:

      We never even consider the Salsa and tequila levels and their fine fine babes

      • Bigbrovar says:

        Sad news coming in brothers about the loss of two NAF pilots in an alpha jet crash in Niger. Information is still sketchy but it didn’t seem to be as a result of enemy activity.. Sad news indeed.

  25. chyde says:

    Painful story , saw it on NTA last night. May souls of the pilots RIP

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