Chadian army presents formidable challenge to Nigerian militants

World Today

Nigeria’s army repelled the second attack in three days by Boko Haram on the border town of Diffa on Sunday, a day before its parliament votes on whether to join a regional offensive against the Nigerian Islamist group. Neighboring Chad has deployed some 2,500 troops to Niger’s southern border region and to Cameroon ahead of a planned military offensive by regional powers against Boko Haram. Chadian troops could prove to be a game changer in the fight against the Boko Haram. Kofa Mrenje reported this story from Nairobi, Kenya.

Chadian army presents formidable challenge to Nigerian militants

Nigeria's army repelled the second attack in three days by Boko Haram on the border town of Diffa on Sunday, a day before its parliament votes on whether to join a regional offensive against the Nigerian Islamist group. Neighboring Chad has deployed some 2,500 troops to Niger's southern border region and to Cameroon ahead of a planned military offensive by regional powers against Boko Haram. Chadian troops could prove to be a game changer in the fight against the Boko Haram. Kofa Mrenje reported this story from Nairobi, Kenya.

They played a key role in Northern Mali and helped drive away Islamic militants from key towns.

Chadian forces were also on the front-line during the crisis in the Central African Republic.

Within just days after entering Nigeria, Chadian forces have reportedly killed hundreds of Boko Haram militants.

“The Chadian army has experience in dealing with such kinds of insurgency because they have had internal experience from Chad itself. We have seen them being involved in Djibouti, we have seen them in Mali and they have done extremely well,” Security Expert George Musamali said. “So I think basically they have experience in dealing with such kinds of ragtag armies as opposed to the Nigerian army.”

There is one major factor, security experts believe will give the Chadian forces the upper hand in the fight against Boko Haram.

“We have said before that there is very high suspicion that the Nigerian army has been infiltrated by the Boko Haram. So we are having to recruit a team that comes in without those fears. And that’s why you find that they are coming in and hitting the Boko Haram hard as opposed to the Nigerian army,” Musamali said.

Many are hopeful Chad’s intervention in Nigeria will help defeat the Boko Haram.

The Islamist group has killed hundreds in Northern Nigeria and left thousands fleeing their homes into neighboring countries.