Has Nigeria “technically defeated” Boko Haram?
AP Photo/Muhammed Giginyu
President Muhammadu Buhari announced that Nigeria has “technically won the war” against the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram, reported the BBC.
“Boko Haram, as an organized fighting force, we have dealt with them. Boko Haram cannot now march their forces and attack towns or attack military installations. Technically, we’ve won the war because people are going back into their neighborhoods” Buhari said during a BBC interview.
However, is this true and if it is how has Nigeria overcome the insurgents?
According to the Nigerian administration, military operations in the country have led to Boko Haram being incapable of holding ground and coordinating attacks.
As Buhari’s self-Imposed December 31 deadline, to rid the country of the Islamist group draws closer, expectations are mounting. After a reportedly calm Christmas in many states in Nigeria, apart from Borno, festivities went off without any incidents, reported the Daily Times. This is the first time in the past six years that these north eastern states have been able to celebrate Christmas peacefully.
However, in the village of Kimba in Borno State 14 people were killed on Christmas day during an attack carried out by Boko Haram. It was reported that Gunmen on bicycles rode through the town late on Friday night shooting residents of the area as well as setting houses on fire.
Mustapha Karimbe, a civilian aiding the military, told the Daily Times, “the gunmen killed 14 people and burnt the whole village before they fled.”
On Monday December 28 at least 20 people were killed in an explosion at a Mosque in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital. The bomb was reported to be an improvised explosive device (IED). Only hours later another bomb exploded in the city killing many, witnesses told Premium Times. The total number of dead from both attacks have yet to be confirmed. It is suspected that the two attacks were carried out by Boko Haram.
Buhari told the BBC last week that Boko Haram has resorted to using IEDs and is now only an effective force in Borno state. However, critics have stated that the government has in the past inflated their accomplishments whilst the militant group has reconstructed their forces.