Post link 31 August 2014, 3:16
Zoe Flood, Nairobi 3:52PM BST 26 Aug 2014

Nigerian troops 'flee to Cameroon' after fierce Boko Haram clashes
Nigeria denies defections as troops reportedly flee across border after complaining they are "under-equipped" to take on Boko Haram militants


http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/03017/car_3017298b.jpgNearly 500 Nigerian soldiers reportedly fled to neighbouring Cameroon following heavy fighting with Boko Haram militants amid claims the government troops were under-equipped to fight the jihadists.
Cameroonian officials claimed that the soldiers had sought refuge in the West African country, along with thousands of civilians fleeing the hardline Islamists.

But in a statement online the Nigerian defence ministry described the border-crossing as a "tactical" manoeuvre and refuted claims that the soldiers had defected, later adding that they were on the way back to their unit.

The troop movements came after a soldier reportedly fighting Boko Haram in northern Nigeria told the BBC that, with a group of up to 40 colleagues, he would refuse to fight until they received better equipment.
"Soldiers are dying like fowl," the soldier told the BBC Hausa service.

http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/03017/boko_3017294c.jpgNigerian troops, and their family members, have repeatedly complained that they are under-equipped to take on the militants.

Boko Haram, which means "Western education is forbidden" and may have ties to al Qaeda, is seeking to establish an Islamic state under the rule of sharia.
Its leader Abubakar Shekau recently released a video announcing that Gwoza, a large town in the country's north, was now "part of the Islamic caliphate".

Despite a state of emergency declared across north-eastern Nigeria last year, Boko Haram militants have demonstrated their resilience against demoralised and overstretched security forces.
The ongoing conflict has killed several thousand people this year alone, while militants abducted nearly 300 schoolgirls in April from a school in Chibok in an incident that caught the world's attention.
Rights group Amnesty International earlier this month said that both sides, including the military, were responsible for crimes and abuses, including extrajudicial executions.
Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Kenneth Minimah last week announced that Nigeria had ordered new military equipment and that upon its arrival a "major offensive" would be launched in the restive north-east. He also talked of plans to reorganise the army.

w.telegraph.co.uk
Topic edited 1 times, last edit by RouTe, 31 August 2014, 3:18  

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