The Federal Nigerian government has deployed drones in the fight against insurgency in the Northeast. The deployment of the drones followed an attack on the Nigerian forces in Borno by the insurgent group Boko Haram.
The Nigerian delegation made the revelation in its Country report presented to the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja on Friday. The report presented by Mr Sani Rano, also contained losses to the country from incessant farmers/herders clashes. The deployment of the drones followed an attack on the Nigerian forces in Borno by the insurgent group-Boko Haram. This attack led to the killing of 44 soldiers, the report stated. The delegation, in their report, informed the parliament that the insurgent group killed soldiers in three military bases in Borno state: Metele, Gajiram and Mainok.
In related news Legit.ng reported that Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman had said that the Nigerian Army discovered that Boko Haram terrorists have started using drones and foreign fighters while combating the Army. Kukasheka said the Nigerian troops deployed in the northeast of Nigeria under Operation Lafiya Dole have come under series of attacks by large numbers of Boko Haram.
The report further added that in response to the attack the country had deployed the drones to constantly survey the area, and had also set up a multi-national joint task force to curb the menace. “It is worth mentioning that Nigeria has constituted the Multi-National Joint Taskforce (MNTF) made up of Chad, Benin, Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria, in fighting Boko Haram. It is a multinational formation comprising of equipped units, mostly the military aimed at containing the ravages of terrorism and armed insurgency.” The report stated.
“Presently, drones are patrolling Nigeria’s borders with Chad, Niger and Cameroon as instruments for intelligence collection. The Nigerian government is working closely with the Cameroonian government with the aim of negotiating efforts in enabling more Cameroon Boko Haram members to surrender,” the report said.
The report also made a mention of the fact that before the recent attacks on military bases, the Nigerian troops had made good progress in tackling insurgency and reopening towns previously seized by Boko Haram. It said that Nigeria had partnered with other countries including the U.S. and UK, France, Germany, ECOWAS, AU and the UN which had led to the purchase of weapons including 12 Super Tucano Aircraft. On the herders/farmers clashes, Rano stated that it was estimated that 1,300 persons were killed in Nigeria. He said that apart from the loss of lives, Nigeria as a country was also losing billions of Naira on the importation of food which would have been produced locally if there were no crisis.
The Nigerian Army, as well as the Police, were said to have deployed intelligence and surveillance to avert any re-occurrence especially with the coming of the dry seasons when the herders would need to search for fresh pasture.