Member-countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), comprising Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Benin Republic, have agreed to deploy about 8,700 troops as part of the ongoing efforts to end the Boko Haram insurgency in the region.
According to a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday by the LCBC’s Director of Defence Information, Col. Rabe Abubakar, the decision to unleash over 8,000 soldiers on Boko Haram was reached at a recent Meeting of Chiefs of Defence Staff in Ndjamena, Chad; and arrangements for the deployment finalized.
Col. Abubakar further disclosed that the resolutions from the meeting reinforced President Muhammadu Buhari’s earlier directive to his security chiefs to end the insurgency in three months.
The statement reads in part: “Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin visited Chad Republic where he joined other regional military chiefs to deliberate on agreement to accelerate the deployment of the 8,700 strong force. The Chiefs of Defence Staff from the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), member countries met in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad Republic and finalised details of deployment of the joint force.”
Abubakar further disclosed that the meeting discussed modalities for the deployment of a joint force to two command posts in Nigeria and Cameroon.
“Officers seconded to the MNJTF in N’Djamena were ordered to report immediately to their post, as operation at the Force Headquarters has commence. Present at the meeting were the Chiefs of Defence Staff from the LCBC member countries, MNJTF Commander and other senior military delegates”, the statement said.
According to the commission’s spokesperson, the army chiefs from the bloc have been working round the clock towards actualising the presidential directive to end Boko Haram terrorist activities within three months.
By Olisemeka Obeche (with agency reports)