The Chadian and Cameroonian government has ordered its troops into Nigerian soil to recapture Baga from Boko Haram terrorists without the consent of the Nigerian government.
The Nigerian military today confirmed that they are in the dark and don't know of an order by President Idriss Deby of Chad, deploying that country’s armed forces in pursuit of Boko Haram in Nigerian territory.
The defence spokesman, Chris Olukolade however revealed that it wasn't against the law because Chad,Nigeria, Cameroun and Niger, all belong to a Multinational force set up to tackle the insurgent group.
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Boko Haram insurgents had taken the town on January 3 after attacking the Multinational Joint Task Force, MNJTF attached in the town.
Amnesty International claimed that the attack saw the death of over 2000 people but the military said that the casualty figures was less than 150.
Nigerien and Chadian troops part of the MNJTF were said to hae been pulled out days before the attack.
The Chadian president had on Thursday said that his army's mission was to recapture Baga from the terrorists.
President Deby said: “We answered the call of (Cameroon’s) President Paul Biya. We cannot remain indifferent to what happens to our neighbours. Cameroon must not be left alone to face this threat that has so hurt innocent people in Cameroon and in Nigeria” .
The Nigerian military's defence spokesman, Chris Olukolade revealed that government was unaware of the deployments but said that he would need to “verify”.
He told Premium Rimes: “I’ll need to verify what you are saying but it is not as if everything is out of order, there is Multinational Joint Task Force which allows us to interact with forces of neighbouring countries among which they are”.
“But even with that being the case, there cannot be solo operations in that area that will ignore the existing Nigeria’s arrangement for that area,” he added.
Security experts have said that the Nigerian Army's reaction to the development was troublesome.
Peregrino Brimah, of the civil society group, Every Nigerian Do Something (ENDS). said: “The Nigerian government saying through the army spokesperson, General Olukolade that they are ‘lukewarm’ to Chad’s mission to Nigeria is very troubling to say the least. If Chad’s intentions and mission is good intended then why should the Nigerian government be kept out of the loop and be unenthusiastic? This questions the trust we as a people have in both governments. Would the Nigerian government not wish Chad assist them in rescuing occupied territories? Is there intelligence with the Nigerian administration that makes them suspicious of Chad; or are they uninterested in Nigeria’s liberation?” Peregrino Brimah, of the civil society group, Every Nigerian Do Something (ENDS).
Brimah said that Deby's announcement is similar to Mexico crossing the border to rescue Texas.
“Chad setting out to assist Cameroon at their request is appropriate, however for the Chadian president, Idriss Deby to announce formally to his people and to the international press that his troops will be invading Nigeria to “re-capture” Baga, without express permission and willful authorization by the Goodluck Jonathan administration is absurd. It is like Mexico deciding it will invade the United States to rescue a “plagued Texas” without the explicit approval of the United States government.”
Boko Haram insurgents have been said to be crossing the border to Chad and Cameroun whenever Nigerian army applies some pressure to the terrorists, this was the reason the Multinational force was formed by Nigeria, Cameroun and Chad.