by Mayowa Tijani,
The US department of state says the Nigerian military has been unable to hold on to gains made by the multinational joint task force (MNJTF) in the war against terrorism.
In its 2016 country report on terrorism, released this week, the US said “the Nigerian government took steps to increase its counter-Boko Haram efforts,” but could not hold on to gains recorded.
“Nigeria continued to work with other Boko Haram-affected neighbours in the multi-national joint task force (MNJTF) that facilitated collaboration and coordination on counter-Boko Haram efforts,” the report read.
“Despite gains made by the MNJTF, much of its reported progress was merely duplication of failed efforts carried over from the end of the last dry/fighting season.
“The Nigerian military was unable to hold and rebuild civilian structures and institutions in those areas it had cleared. Most of the remaining students abducted by BH in Chibok remained in captivity, although one girl was found in Borno, and the government of Nigeria successfully negotiated the release of 21 of the kidnapping victims.”
The report also highlighted the shut down of ISIS West Africa, which is regarded as an offshoot of Boko Haram.
“In the Lake Chad Basin, military gains by the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) and its member states against both Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa, a Boko Haram off-shoot that emerged in 2016, helped drive down terrorist attacks and fatalities in Nigeria and elsewhere in the in the Lake Chad Basin region over much of the year,” the report read.
“In the Lake Chad Basin, the MNJTF contributed to an overall reduction in terrorist attacks and fatalities, although national forces within the group had difficulty holding cleared areas and rebuilding civilian institutions, especially in Nigeria.”
In the report seen by TheCable, the US also highlighted the challenges faced in the prosecution of terrorism cases in Nigeria, highlighting partnership with the UK and other many countries around the world.
Boko Haram had not stepped up attacks when the department of state conducted its survey.
The group became deadlier after some of its commanders were swapped with 82 Chibok girls, and recently when Tukur Buratai, chief or army staff, ordered his men to capture Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram.
Sani Usman, spokesman of the army, could not be reached for reaction to the report of the US department of state.