Following regular attacks on civilian targets and villages in the three states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, as well as Gombe, and despite recent successes recorded by the Army, Hiroute Guebre Sellassie, the United Nations envoy for the Sahel region, has declared that Nigeria cannot fight Boko Haram insurgency alone.
Speaking on Wednesday in Addis Ababa, Sellassie said the nation needs help from regional armies for a new multi-national force to win a war that has so far claimed over 13,000 lives.
Of this number, 4,000 were killed last year alone, even as more than one million were displaced, while wiping out entire villages since 2009.
In a chat on Wednesday, ahead of African Union’s Peace and Security Council summit slated for Friday in the Ethiopian capital, Sellassie told AFP: “Nigeria cannot handle the problem alone.”
The summit is expected to discuss a proposed regional force of about 3,000 troops that would include soldiers from Nigeria, Niger, Benin, Chad and Cameroon.
She said Boko Haram had become a sub-regional menace and no longer confined to Nigeria, leading to “a flood of refugees to Niger, Cameroon and even Chad.
Amnesty International, in a statement on Wednesday from London, said the summit is expected to discuss the deployment of a regional force against Boko Haram.
The UN envoy warned that the sect could have a possible training camp in northern Mali, just as “the Sahel is increasingly affected.
“It is time to take action and to be aware of the danger of Boko Haram for the entire African continent,” she added.
Only last Saturday and Sunday, members of the dreaded sect, made another failed attempt to capture Maiduguri, capital of Borno State.
Various reports said the insurgents in their hundreds struck before dawn on Sunday, but were frustrated by Nigerian troops equipped with heavy weaponry and backed by fighter jets.
The insurgents were said to have regrouped and attacked the base of 33 Artillery Brigade at Jintilo village, in Monguno, just 6 kilometres outside Maiduguri, following which there were reports of fierce fighting with soldiers from Maimalari Barracks.