News / Africa

Nigeria: Offensive Has Destroyed Most Islamist Bases

A Nigerian soldier walks past a burnt vehicle during a military patrol in Hausari village, near Maiduguri, June 5, 2013.
A Nigerian soldier walks past a burnt vehicle during a military patrol in Hausari village, near Maiduguri, June 5, 2013.
Reuters
The Nigerian military said on Monday that a two-month-old offensive in the northeast had “substantially achieved” the aim of destroying Islamist bases, as well as killing or capturing a number of fighters and freeing victims of abductions.
 
In a statement, defense spokesman Brigadier-General Chris Olukolade also said 23 women and 35 children being held on charges of aiding Islamist militant group Boko Haram had been released as a gesture of peace to its more moderate sympathizers.
 
Nigerian forces are carrying out their most concerted effort yet to end a four-year insurgency that has left thousands dead - many of them killed in gun or bomb attacks - and destablised swaths of the north of Africa's top oil producer.
 
“The mandate to the forces involves the destruction of all terrorist camps and apprehension of perpetrators,” Olukolade said. “This mandate has been substantially achieved with destruction of terrorists' strongholds. A number of terrorists have been apprehended ... Many of them have died in battle.”
 
Boko Haram, which is fighting for an Islamic state in religiously-mixed Nigeria, have in the past proved masters of resurrecting themselves after apparent defeat.
 
Nigerian authorities thought they were finished after a 2009 crackdown left 800 dead, including the sect's founder Mohammed Yusuf, but they came back stronger than ever, developing ties with al-Qaida-linked militants in the Sahara. 

President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency on May 14, ordering extra troops into the northeast after reports Boko Haram had taken over large stretches of the remote semi-desert region.

The Nigerian government has deployed thousands of soldiers to fight Boko Haram in the north after emergency rule was declared in three states on May 14. Picture taken in Borno State, June 6, 2013. (Heather Murdock/VOA)The Nigerian government has deployed thousands of soldiers to fight Boko Haram in the north after emergency rule was declared in three states on May 14. Picture taken in Borno State, June 6, 2013. (Heather Murdock/VOA)
x
The Nigerian government has deployed thousands of soldiers to fight Boko Haram in the north after emergency rule was declared in three states on May 14. Picture taken in Borno State, June 6, 2013. (Heather Murdock/VOA)
The Nigerian government has deployed thousands of soldiers to fight Boko Haram in the north after emergency rule was declared in three states on May 14. Picture taken in Borno State, June 6, 2013. (Heather Murdock/VOA)
Since then, security sources say the number of attacks has dropped sharply, although a spate of deadly attacks on schools showed the sect can still inflict mayhem.

Olukolade said the destruction of bases in Nigeria had pushed the militants back inside northeast Nigeria's cities, like Maiduguri, where many had been seized in cordon and search operations.
 
On Sunday, Nigerian forces said they had uncovered a vast network of underground tunnels connecting houses and bunkers in the Maiduguri area of Bulabulin, as well as some collective graves of people killed by the militants. Olukolade said some of the bunkers could accommodate over 100 people.
 
Critics say no amount of military force will solve the underlying issues driving the insurgency, such as the north's poverty and sense of political exclusion, but efforts to dialog with the sect have failed to get a positive response.
 
The authorities had also arrested the parents-in-law of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau.

On Saturday Shekau uploaded a defiant Internet video vowing never to “dialogue with a government that is corrupt and using the book of pagans [Bible] to run itself,” a swipe at the fact that Jonathan's administration is dominated by southern Christians like himself.

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid