Nigeria: Army Promises To Think Faster


December 19, 2013: Since the army went on the offensive in the north last May over 1,200 civilians have died in Boko Haram related violence up north. The number of Boko Haram attacks has diminished in the last few months but there is still violence, usually at least one major terrorist attack a week plus a lot of less spectacular violence. The Boko Haram sustain themselves by stealing from locals and because these border areas are so thinly populated  there are not enough soldiers to guard all of it all the time.

The army is adapting more quickly to new Boko Haram tactics. For example, the army is now sending troops to guard border villages on those days when many local farmers bring in products for sale at the market place. These market days are when Boko Haram hiding in nearby forests come out to raid the markets and get the food and other goods they require. The army is also cultivating populations on the border to encourage them to report more often what they might see Boko Haram doing. The army is also supplying pro-government militias with more equipment and cash. The army does not want to supply firearms, but will not take away any weapons the militias may have obtained on their own.

In the north Christian leaders called on the government to address the social and economic problems (corruption and inept government) if they want to defeat Boko Haram.

December 18, 2013: Off the coast the navy caught and arrested four pirates in two speed boats. Some of those arrested were already wanted for piracy.

December 16, 2013: Off the coast ten pirates raided a Greek tanker, looted it and took two officers (the Ukranian captain and the Greek engineer) to hold for ransom.

December 13, 2013: In the north (Borno state) a major army raid left at least Boko Haram gunmen dead and one of their bases captured. The soldiers killed some of the Islamic terrorist before the base was attacked and continued chasing down fleeing Boko Haram men, capturing and killing more of them. The troops had a big edge because they were in contact with air force planes overhead who reported where the fleeing terrorists were and where they were headed.

December 10, 2013: In the north (Borno state) Boko Haram gunmen have been regularly raiding some highways near the border, forcing the army to increase patrols on these routes.





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