CDS Wants Lake Chad Multinational Force to Step up Operations against Boko Haram

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Paul Obi in Abuja

The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, tuesday urged the Lake Chad Basin Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to step up its operations against Boko Haram resurgence, and defeat remnants of the Boko Haram sects still staging attacks in the North-east.

Olonisakin stated this in Abuja during the opening of a three-day meeting of experts of the Lake Chad Basin Commission member states and Republic Benin.

He explained that though the activities of Boko Haram sect had been on the decline, the resurgence of attacks in recent times remained a great source of concern.

Olonisakin contended that the dismantling of the terrorists’ stronghold has prompted a “dispersal and resultant sporadic attacks in the MNJTF Area of Responsibility (AOR).”

He observed that there was a strategy by the sect “to survive and possibly regroup. Thus, the need to step up the tempo of operation in the MNJTF AOR.

“I am happy to note the successes achieved by MNJTF in Operation Gama Aiki I and to express confidence that Operation Gama Aiki II, which has just commenced, will achieve even greater successes by dealing a decisive blow on Boko Haram terrorists in our collective area of responsibility.

“It is obvious that the range of threats confronting the region is so multifaceted that the solutions to them require a multi-dimensional approach by various member states,’’ Olonisakin stated.

The CDS added that there was an urgent need to deploy strong force to tame the resurgence of the terrorists, adding: “Accordingly, a combination of hard and soft power approaches are required if the fight against terror and other criminality is to be won.

“Therefore it is my firm belief that when all efforts are combined in a holistic manner, we will be able to defeat terrorism and restore peace and order in the Lake Chad Basin region.”

Commander of the MNJTF, Maj Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, informed journalists that though the terrorists had been routed from some of their territories, “they had not been completely destroyed. They still move about in splinter and wreck some havoc,’’ Adeosun said.

He stressed: “There is need for new strategies to ensure that we really get over them by removing the remaining vestiges of their capabilities in whatever form.”
The three-day event seeks to address critical security threats in member states under the umbrella of the Multi-national Joint Task Force (MNJTF).

The MNJTF was set up in 1998 for the conduct of joint military operations within the Lake Chad Region.