PHOTO CREDIT: STR/EPA
1 August, 2013
Over 100 troops from the Nigerian peacekeeping contingent that were involved in the United Nations-backed war effort in Northern Mali arrived the country Wednesday for onward deployment to Borno State to enforce emergency rule in the state and other parts of the north-east.
Their deployment to the state may not be unconnected with the request by the Borno State Government for more troops to be sent to the state to see off the threat of the terrorist sect, Boko Haram. Since the declaration of emergency rule and increased military onslaught on members of the sect, most of them have been forced to flee the Borno State capital, Maiduguri, to other parts of the state.
THISDAY also learnt that the decision to deploy more troops in some states in the north-east, where the special forces of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) have been dislodging the Boko Haram insurgents, is in line with the stated reason of the federal government for withdrawing some of its troops from Mali.
A military source told THISDAY that the troops have landed in their bases in Kaduna and Borno for internal security operations. The source also disclosed that more troops of over 1,000 military personnel deployed in Mali are expected to arrive next week to join the operations back home in Nigeria.
“The arrival of troops only begins today (Wednesday) with over 100 soldiers, and have landed in Kaduna and other parts of the north-east for the State of Emergency Operation BOYONA going on there. They will continue arriving till next week. “You remember there was a plan to shore up the troops to continue with the mop up operation and sustain the onslaught against the terrorists,” the source said.
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) had confirmed two weeks ago that Nigeria had requested that some of its troops be withdrawn from Malian operations because of the internal security challenges back home.