N’DJJAMENA, 3 November 2020 – Only limited success has been achieved in the fight against Boko Haram terrorists in the Lake Chad region, the International Crisis Group (ICG) has said in a recent report.
“Success has been limited,” the ICG said in the report, recommending “greater cooperation and intelligence-sharing” across the Multinational Joint Task Force put in place to fight the jihadist threat in order to accelerate progress.
Troops from Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Chad, Nigeria and Benin make up the Multinational Joint Task Force.
The 10,000-person strong Task Force was put in place five years ago after Lake Chad Basin Region countries realized that the terrorists were slipping in and out of neighboring countries or using such countries to fall back in the face of attack or to train.
Boko Haram and its offshoot, the Islamic State in West Africa Province (Iswap), have killed thousands in jihadist attacks, during hostage-takings for ransom operations gone wrong, and in the course of counter operations by the Task Force.
Nearly two million people have been displaced on account of such attacks, some of the most horrendous of which have been suicide bomb attacks and other indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian objects.
The security think tank also acknowledged success. The report pointed to the success of military campaigns that, according to the ICG, pushed back the jihadists, recovered authority over territory that was under the control of Boko Haram, freed civilians held hostage, and facilitated the safe passage and delivery of aid.
The concerns raised by the report include funding shortages, reluctance on the part of states to cede control to the Task Force, other structural limitations and what the report described as a weak chain of command.
The report encourages member states of the Task Force, established with the help of the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU), to work with the AU and EU in resolving funding issues.