News / Africa

    Nigeria Military Launches ‘Operation’ Against Boko Haram

    Video screen shot of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram leader and obtained by AFP shows Abubakar Shekau, delivering a speech at an undisclosed location, Aug. 24, 2014.
    Video screen shot of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram leader and obtained by AFP shows Abubakar Shekau, delivering a speech at an undisclosed location, Aug. 24, 2014.
    Peter Clottey

    Nigeria’s military spokesman says the national army launched an “operation” against the violent Islamist militant group Boko Haram in Gwoza, a town in the country’s northwest the militants claimed they captured.

    Major General Chris Olukolade also said senior military officials are in close contact with their counterparts in Cameroon after some Nigerian soldiers battling Boko Haram militants “found themselves” in the neighboring country’s territory.

    “The normal protocol for addressing such issues has been completed by discussions and interactions between the military authorities. And by that we’ve been able to smoothen issues, and the troops are on the way to joining their units at the moment,” said Olukolade.

    He said the military is gathering intelligence from a video of Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram, who announced the militants have established Islamic law in Gwoza. Olukolade said Nigeria will not tolerate militants’ claim to control any part of the country.

    “We have seen that report much as we are studying it for intelligence purpose. I can say that the whole claim is an empty claim that cannot be sustained,” said Olukolade. “No group of terrorists would be allowed to have any claim to any portion of Nigeria, and to that extant any group that is making such claim is only delusive.”

    Olukolade said the military has the capacity to combat the security threat posed by the militants and dismissed criticisms that the lack of proper equipment forced some soldiers to abandon the fight against Boko Haram fighters, who analysts say are better equipped.

    “The criticism has its various prisms, major among which is perhaps intended as a psychological warfare on our troops to demoralize them. But to the best of our knowledge like all other armies, we do not have all that we require at the moment, but we are maximizing all that we have to achieve the result of dealing with terrorists and keeping them off our country,” said Olukolade.

    “All that we can boast of at the moment is that we have the capacity to manage the situation. We are not going to relent, until we handle the situation,” said Olukolade. “The claim of saying we are not equipped is not going to deter us from achieving that result. We are getting incrementally improved in our equipment and weapons. We are sure that…with the way we are handling the situation we will soon achieve our results somehow.” 

    Some Nigerians are worried that security agencies haven’t prevented brazen attacks by Boko Haram militants. They cite recent attacks carried out by the militants on unarmed civilians in parts of the country as examples of the need for the security agencies to do more to protect lives and property.

    Olukolade says the concerns are legitimate, but added that the military is determined to defeat the militants.                       

    “[This] is giving a lot of concerns to many people and it is understandable. People are traumatized, but it is consistent with terrorists. We are working the appropriate way to handle it and ensure that we [prevent] unnecessary civilian casualties in the process,” said Olukolade. “At the moment, we are fashioning out what we believe will get us that result and we are going to reverse this trend, all things being equal, in a very short while.”

    You May Like

    US Lawmakers Vow to Continue Immigrant Program for Afghan Interpreters

    Congressional inaction threatens funding for effort which began in 2008 and has allowed more than 20,000 interpreters, their family members to immigrate to US

    Brexit's Impact on Russia Stirs Concern

    Some analysts see Brexit aiding Putin's plans to destabilize European politics; others note that an economically unstable Europe is not in Moscow's interests

    US to Train Cambodian Government on Combating Cybercrime

    Concerns raised over drafting of law, as critics fear cybercrime regulations could be used to restrict freedom of expression and stifle political dissent

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Ike from: ph
    September 04, 2014 3:16 PM
    Enough of the killings everyday nigerians wake up to hear bad news, enough of this.....

    by: kellywhite from: abuja
    August 28, 2014 4:47 AM
    pls nigaria let do some about this boko haram boys o
    In Response

    by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
    August 28, 2014 11:40 PM
    It's appropriate now for good citizens of Nigeria to take the law into their own hand against Boko Haram. Enough is Enough!

    by: tete spy from: kigali
    August 27, 2014 5:29 PM
    I still believe there is sabotage within Nigerian Army. We all know past good history of NA. If something not seriously done worse may happen. Federal Govt should stop paying huge monies to legistrators and better equipped and recruit younger soldiers. Long live Nigeria.

    by: Aina from: Sanya
    August 27, 2014 6:54 AM
    The Nigeria military has the biggest allocation from its government in sub Sahara Africa. How come they are complaining. Are Cameroonian army better funded? No!, corruption have eaten deep into everything in Nigeria including the military. An average soldier man doesn't complain of poor funding when it comes to oppressing and beating up a civilian. The military should raise to the occasion. Its the duty they swore to uphold with all their strength. BH started a few years ago but the Nigeria Army has been on for decades so why the complain. Most Nigerians are not getting all they want for the Government yet we all forge ahead.
    In Response

    by: luchi luciano from: lagos
    August 28, 2014 8:30 AM
    Well said.

    by: AUBREY KASONU CHINDEFU from: LUSAKA ZAMBIA
    August 26, 2014 5:47 AM
    Boko haram are fighting a guerilla warfare which the Nigerian army finds it difficult to defend and attack. guerilla warfare is used to attack an enemy without noticing the where about of such an attacker! Nigerian army will need to change to defeat these insurgents that are causing mayhem in northern Nigeria.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    X
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora