Chad has announced its withdrawal from a multinational task force aimed at combating the threat of terrorist group Boko Haram, President Idris Deby Itno announced on Friday, April 10.
“Our troops have died for Lake Chad and the Sahel. From today, no Chadian soldiers will take part in a military mission outside Chad,” Deby declared in an address.
The president returned to the capital Niamey after joining troops on front lines in an operation he claims has decimated 90% of Boko Haram. According to Deby he had personally witnessed the success of the operation that killed 1,000 Boko Haram fighters.
The Joint Multinational Task Force, JMNTF, comprises of countries in the Lake Chad region and who are adversely impacted by attacks by the terrorists. Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon are the main members with Benin also contributing some personnel.
In the case of the Sahel region, Chad is part of the G5 Sahel operation that comprises Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Burkina Faso. Operations have been aimed at combating the activities of terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, AQIM.
In a video circulating on social media, Deby in military fatigue is heard telling troops to secure territory Chad had taken from the fleeing terrorists. “This place will be our zone until Nigeria sends its troops. Stay with them for about a month. Do not let them free captured weapons or any Boko Haram (fighters),” he warned.
He said any released terrorists will only return to hurt Chad. “We are not leaving this situation like this… You guys destroyed at least 90% of Boko Haram. I personally witnessed it and can tell the world that 90% of Boko Haram is destroyed,” he added.
Chad’s latest onslaught on the terrorists comes after what the president said was the worse attack on Chadian forces by members of the group, over 90 soldiers were lost in the said attack. He said the fleeing 10% of Boko Haram “will never come to Chad again. Chad is no joke, Chad is no place for Boko Haram.”