Niger abandons Boko Haram battle, won’t help retake Baga

Posted by News Express | 10 January 2015 | 3,623 times

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Niger has said it would not be involved in attempts to retake the key north-east Nigerian town of Baga from the militant Islamist group, Boko Haram.

It was gathered that the decision of Niger to abandon Baga is a big blow to Nigeria, which had said that the presence of a multinational task force in the area would help defeat Boko Haram.

The withdrawal of troops from Niger means Nigeria's neighbour now has no forces directly involved in tackling Boko Haram.

Chad has also withdrawn its forces. Boko Haram has torched many towns and villages in northern Nigeria

Nigerian officials told the BBC that almost all of Baga had been set on fire in the militant attacks.

Niger Foreign Minister Mohamed Bazoum told the BBC Hausa service: "We have 50 soldiers there and decided to withdraw them after Boko Haram captured Malamfatori town in October and continued to operate in the area with impunity.

"As you know, Baga is under (the control of) Boko Haram terrorists and unless the town is recaptured from them, we will not send back our troops.

"But we are still determined to work with our neighbours Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria to contain the situation - it is a problem for us all."

Meanwhile, a separate French-led initiative called for all four West African countries to contribute 700 troops each to a multinational force against Boko Haram, but no country has implemented the plan.

Niger has blamed Nigeria, saying it has not kept to commitments regarding its own troop levels.

•Sourced from BBC. Photo courtesy of AFP/KAMBOU SIA shows a Nigerien Army convoy.


Source: News Express

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