Boko Haram Is Winning: U.S. Counter-terrorism Officials, Others

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30 killed by Boko Haram militants

U.S. Counter-terrorism Officials and other experts covering the West African region have given an assessment that indicates that Boko Haram is winning the on-going fight to eradicate the sect. According to the assessment, after the successes recorded by the joint forces of the Nigerian and Chadian Armies which took back areas earlier taken over by the Boko Haram, the sect appears to once again be making its presence felt.

About a 100 people have been killed in suicide bombings in the North East of Nigeria since May 30 2015. In the last month, a total of about 113 person have lost their lives to this terrorist group. Chad has also had its share of recent attacks. Twin bombings in N’Djamena over the weekend that targeted a police headquarters and academy claimed the lives of over 20 officers and cadets. According to former ambassador to Nigeria and Ralph Bunche Center director at the Council on Foreign Relations – John Campbell, he said that western observers had exaggerated the success recorded by the Nigerian and Chadian joint forces. He said clearly that “they are winning.”

The overall assessment of the on-going fight against Boko Haram as given by the U.S officials is at best very grim. From the assessment, it seems to imply that the Boko Haram forces have a better fighting machinery and tactics in place. It also raises questions on the ability of the joint task force to handle the fight. According to Campbell, Chad has asked the U.S for help but they are reluctant to get directly involved in the fight. According to him he asked “Do we want to get involved in yet another civil war within Islam?”

Many African countries and Africans in general are not very trusting of the U.S and her foreign policies. Some people in Africa believe that the U.S only serves her own interest wherever they go. When there were talks of U.S forces coming to Nigeria to help in the fight, there was wide spread rejection of this. U.S has a very bad record when it comes to helping nations. Countries like Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan to name a few have not fully recovered from the “help” they got from the U.S.

 

John Campbell

 

Given all these, should the assessment given by Campbell and others be taken seriously or should it be seen as another U.S attempt at infiltrating another oil rich nation? The assessment clearly infers that African forces do not have what it takes to fight the insurgents. The only conclusion that can be drawn from this is that Africa requires western assistance to be able to overcome this challenge.

The Nigerian President now has to prove the U.S very wrong by fulfilling one of his campaign promises which is to eradicate the Boko Haram scourge within months of taking office. As a past general, it is hoped that he will have a better plan for fighting the insurgents. With the military command moved closer to the war zone, Nigerians and indeed Africans are watching for the results to begin to show.

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