Aug 7, 2013
SaharaReporters has exclusively gathered from a senior military source at Nigeria’s Defense Headquarters that the country’s military high command has formally decided to discard the “peace talks” between the Federal Government and Boko Haram, a militant Islamist sect that has accounted for numerous violent attacks in the northern part of the country. “As far as the military authority is concerned, the activities of the [Federal] government’s Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of the Security Challenges in the North, led by Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, have not achieved the expected result. We are now using new strategies in our operations against Boko Haram,” the source told SaharaReporters.
The senior military officer said the military was now re-strategizing its operations and tactics in view of its discovery that the Boko Haram sect was re-grouping and plotting a renewed insurgency with the aid a foreign terrorist network.
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The source said the military has made it known to the Presidency that the amnesty committee now constitutes a distraction to their counter-insurgency response. “As those who have to fight [Boko Haram] on the ground, we think that the amnesty panel somehow undermines aspects of military operations. That is why the panel can no longer be considered in regards to the situation at hand,” he stated.
He said that Nigeria’s Chief of Defense Staff as well as the heads of the Army, Navy, Air Force, the police and the director-general of the Department of State Security have been briefed on the new development. “They are all on board, and they have all agreed that we need to re-strategize in order to contain the new moves Boko Haram is making.”
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According to the source, “From our findings and [the] reality of the situation, there cannot be dialogue with these Boko Haram elements. They are only the domestic face of an international terror group that is well-funded, and with organized units charting their interests. That is why we have to re-strategize and continuing our military operations without letting the dialogue stand in our way.”
The source added that mixing politics and insurgency challenge questionable policy. “It is not healthy and it greatly undermines military response to an issue that is threatening the sovereignty of the Nigerian state. Boko Haram, from our frank findings, is a domestic face of a global terrorism network. They have organization and tactical support. On what basis do you now dialogue with them?”
Asked to elaborate on the international dimension of Boko Haram, the source said: “During the first and second week of the state of emergency, we dismantled their camps and captured their bases in border areas with Niger Republic, Chad and Cameroon. Their coming back in Malum Fatori and other areas shows they have been mobilized beyond the borders of [Nigeria]. They were well armed and more sophisticated than ever before. It is clear they are a local face of something outside, and we must not politicize. Rather we have agreed that the issue should now be faced squarely.”