Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Yusuf Tukur Buratai, on Wednesday disclosed that going by the current activities of the Boko Haram insurgent group, 60 per cent of them are not Nigerians.
Mr. Buratai, was speaking in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State – the heartland of the Boko Haram insurgency, when he received the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Mohammed Ibn Chambas, at the headquarters of the Theatre Command of Operation Lafiya Dole at the Maimalari Cantonment.
“Your Excellency, I want to bring to your attention that while the Boko Haram (insurgency) can be said to have started in Nigeria, by and large as at today, I can say that almost 60 per cent of the insurgents are from our neighbouring countries.
Your Excellency, I want to bring to your attention that while the Boko Haram (insurgency) can be said to have started in Nigeria, by and large as at today, I can say that almost 60 per cent of the insurgents are from our neighbouring countries.
“You can see that almost all of the recently surrendered insurgents are not Nigerians.
“This is a challenge that impacts more on the Nigerian side than the other countries. But by and large, our military is up to the task and we will continue to do our best to ensure that our country is secured,” Buratai said.
Meanwhile, over 1,000 Chadians who are believed to have been fighting for Boko Haram have returned home.
Dimouya Souapepe, prefect of the Lac-Tchad region, told the BBC that the figthers, among them women and children, surrendered to authorities over a period of two months.
He says they are not being detained against their will, but will be screened before being released to their families.
Boko Haram’s activities affects largely three states in Nigeria’s northeast, Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States. The effect is also felt around the Lake Chad region where thousands have been killed and millions displaced.
From Cameroon’s Far North region, through Niger and Chad, the insurgent group continues to carry out attacks. Their activities have created a humanitarian crisis in the region, one that aid agencies continue to seek support to help solve.