CHADIAN president Idriss Deby has announced that his troops will no longer participate in operations against Boko Haram outside his country’s borders in what appears to be his exasperation with Nigeria’s reluctance to take on the terrorists.
Last week, Chadian soldiers launched a major offensive against Boko Haram in an eight day campaign codenamed Operation Anger of Bohoma. In one of the most crushing defeats for Boko Haram, the Chadian troops dislodged them from the town of Dikwa in Borno State, killing about 1,000 terrorists in the process.
Chadian troops also recaptured the palace of the emir of Dikwa, which Boko Haram appeared to have been using at its headquarters. Under the terms of the agreement between the Lake Chad Basin Authority, local troops are expected to take over any territory within their borders once it is captured by joint or regional forces.
Nigerian soldiers are thus expected to consolidate their presence in the Dikwa area and other parts of Borno State recaptured by the Chadian soldiers. After fierce fighting, that saw the Chadians also venture into neighbouring Niger Republic, Chad lost 52 soldiers, with 183 wounded but President Deby appears frustrated that this may now be in vain as Nigeria appears reluctant to consolidate the victory.
President Deby, told his military officials that the Chadian troops within Nigeria and Niger will leave in about two weeks. He has told the Nigerian and Nigerien authorities to be ready to take over the defence of the liberated areas from 24 April, adding that after then, no Chadian soldier will take part in any military operation outside of Chad.
President Deby said: “We are able to defend the integrity of our territory. We fought alone in Lake Chad, without the support of the countries supposed to help us.”
However, he acknowledged that Nigeria, Sudan and Rwanda offered equipment and logistical support during the operation. Following the success of the operation, President Deby promoted five commanders in charge of operations, into higher ranks of colonel, brigadier and divisional general.
Addressing his troops, President Deby added: “I sincerely thank all the Chadians and all the African brothers and sisters for the support given to our defence and security forces. Peace, security and stability are sacred values.
“All of Africa and the whole world knows what you have done. I will never forget those who fell.”
According to President Déby, 90% to 95% of the terrorist sect members have been decimated in the areas of operations. President Deby then flew back to the Chadian capital, Ndjamena in a military helicopter himself, having had pilot training.