February 21, 2024

Insecurity: MNJTF forces intercept arms haul supply for terrorists in Lake Chad region

Insecurity: MNJTF forces intercept arms haul supply for terrorists in Lake Chad region

** As air strikes kill scores, destroy terrorist boats carrying equipment and insurgents on the Chad-Cameroon-Nigerian border

** One Nigerian and One Chadian Soldier killed during operation

By: Kingsley Omonobi

In its determined effort to ensure the restoration of security and economic development in the Lake Chad Basin region, troops of the Multinational Joint Task Force have intercepted a major arms haul meant for delivery to Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists aimed at destabilization and conducting attacks.

This is just as Fighter aircraft from the Chadian airforce attached to the Joint Task Force guided by reliable intelligence, conducted strikes on Boko Haram strongholds along the southern rim of Lake Chad, near the Chad-Cameroon-Nigeria border, neutralizing several terrorists and causing the destruction of terrorists equipment on waterways. 

“During the strikes, several terrorists were seen jumping into the lake from their boats and are believed to have died,”  a statement by MNJTF said.

Regarding the capture of the arms haul, the statement said, “In separate operations on 19 February 2024, troops recovered 5 units of 155 millimetre High Explosive Shells used for making Improvised Explosive Devices, debilitating the operational capabilities of the terrorist factions in the region.

“In Sector 4 Diffa, Niger Republic, capitalizing on precise intelligence, the troops effectively disrupted an arms smuggling attempt north of Nguigmi near the Niger-Chad borderline on 10th February 2024. 

“Their timely intervention led to the confiscation of a substantial arms cache comprising 6 AK-47 rifles, 11 magazines, and 50 rounds of 7.62-millimeter ammunition, thereby dealing a substantial blow to the clandestine network supporting the insurgency.

“Sadly, despite these achievements, 2 soldiers, one each from Nigeria and Chad paid the supreme price while 3 others sustained various degrees of injuries. 

Emphasising that the MNJTF “has significantly stepped up its clearance operations within the Lake Chad Basin, to strengthen free movement and rejuvenate economic activities across the region,”  it said, “The initiative has led to an encouraging trend, with multiple terrorists also surrendering.

“From 10 to 20 February, all 4 Sectors of MNJTF recorded various successes which portrayed the surge in troop’s effectiveness through surrender of terrorist elements, offensive operations and curbing of arms smuggling.

“Consequently, troops of Sector 1 MNJTF in Mora, Cameroon, triumphed in a notable engagement at the locality of Soueram. 

‘This offensive resulted in the neutralization of 2 Boko Haram terrorists and the seizure of 92 units of linked ammunition belts, enhancing the safety of the area and disrupting the terror group’s supply lines.

 “On 10th and 19th of February 2024, 2 Boko Haram members each surrendered to troops in Sectors 2 and 3, stationed in Litri, Chad, and Doron Baga, Nigeria respectively. 

‘The items recovered from these 4 repentant insurgents included a collection of arms and ammunition, significantly consisting of an AKM Rifle, an AK-47 Rifle, 3 magazines, and 29 rounds of 7.62-millimetre Special Ammunition.

“The MNJTF’s persistence in offensive campaigns brought additional victories, with notable operations conducted by the troops of Sector 2 Bagasola, Chad. 

“During a high-impact offensive at the locality of Tchokou, a Lake Chad Island, the troops inflicted casualties on Boko Haram elements and recovered 3 “teke-teke” Canoes among other terrorists’ logistics items.

The MNJTF said, “We commend their gallantry of our troops who paid the supreme sacrifice and pray for the souls of the deceased to rest in peace. 

“The MNJTF remains devoted to its mandate of restoring peace and security while fostering the conditions necessary for economic growth and the free movement of people within the Lake Chad basin.

“These recent achievements underscore the task force’s resolve and effort in confronting the challenges posed by terrorists activities. 

“The MNJTF will continue its comprehensive approach, combining military action with collaborative efforts to support affected communities in overcoming the threats to regional stability.”