OP RESTORE ORDER SITREP- Week Ending 1 February 2014

Situation Friendly Forces:

28 January:

  • President of the Federal Republic of NIGERIA Goodluck JONATHAN, explained that he dismissed the previous Service chiefs due to inter service rivalries that led to security lapses such as the attack on MAIDUGURI Airport, whilst on a visit to YOLA, ADAMAWA State
  • The GOMBE State Commissioner for Health Dr Ishaya KENNEDY states that internally displaced people from the Boko Haram crisis has increased the State’s population from 3million to 4million and is straining resources

29 January:

  • The Federal High Court, ABUJA has arranged for Muhammad NAZEEF a lecturer at KOGI State University to be arraigned over links to Boko Haram on 3 February
  • The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) stated that 4,000 people were affected by the attack on KAWURI resulting in 2,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) camped at the College of Business and Management and Central Primary School, KONDUGA, KONDUGA LGA, BORNO State, the agency stated arrangements were being made to cater to their needs

Situation Enemy Forces:

26 January: 

  • Over 50 insurgents attacked the market in KAWURI Village, KONDUGA LGA, BORNO State, around 5.00pm with small arm, petrol bombs and IEDs killing 85 people including 1 soldier, wounding 35 including several policemen. 16 people are missing and 210 buildings were also burnt down including 7 mosques. Reports indicate some of the attackers initially mingled with the market traders prior to the main body arriving in 26 vehicles from the SAMBISA Forest. The attack lasted for 9 hours before the attackers who appeared to be local Hausa and Kanuri speakers withdrew to the SAMBISA Forest two devices detonated the following day whilst the security forces were collecting bodies causing no casualties
  • Insurgents mounted on motorcycles and in 4WDs attacked a Roman Catholic Church in WADA CHAKAWA, MADAGALI LGA, ADAMAWA State with small arms and IEDs killing 47 people including 2 policemen and wounding 11. The attackers moved to main village and took an unknown number of hostages of whom 10 were also reportedly murdered. The attackers reportedly fled to CAMEROUN after the attack

27 January: 1 Chinese railway construction worker was killed and 2 wounded by unknown gunmen in KADUNA State

31 January:

  • Insurgents have killed 7 passengers and 3 others in an 18 seater Toyota bus with a roadside IED in KUTHRA Village, GWOZA LGA, BORNO State along the GWOZA-MADAGALI Road. The device detonated around 7.00am. Police bomb disposal units are following up
  • Gunmen in cars and motorcycles murdered a Christian family of 7 in UNGUWAR KAJIT Village, KADUNA State. Christian youths retaliated by burning several houses and a mosque, where 1 person died
  • Gunmen killed 11 people including a pastor in SABON GARIN YAMDULA, MADAGALI LGA, ADAMAWA State, they also attempted to burn down the Village Heads house but were driven off by youths with local guns

1 February: gunmen murdered the leader of the Sallafiyah Movement Sheik Muhammad Awwal ADAM (aka Albani Zaria) was with his wife and young son in TUDUN JUKUN area of ZARIA, KADUNA State. The victim was trailed by the killers from his son’s school and was known to preach against Boko Haram.

Situation External Forces:

29 January: the US and Canadian Governments have condemned Sunday’s attacks in BORNO and ADAMAWA States

Situation Other Forces:

Statistics

Table 1 Casualties

  Killed Wounded Missing/   Detained
NPF/DSS

2

??

0

Military

1

??

0

Total NSF

0

0

0

Vigilantes

0

0

0

Foreigners

1

2

 

Insurgents

??

??

Male:

0

Female:

0

Civilian

160

49

16

 

Table 4 Insurgent incidents

Insurgent   Incidents

 

IED Vehicle IED Suicide IED Small Arms Small arms+IED Other wpns Theft Kidnapping

4

0

0

5

2

0

0

0

 

Analysis:

The more things change 3: this week has seen an upstep in tempo and targeting as well as another change in Boko Harams tactics and techniques. In addition to murdering almost 140 innocent Nigerians they have added to interesting twists to their repertoire. The time delayed device and the victim operated roadside IED.

Both these devices present a danger to both the public and security forces and unfortunately can only be mitigated or avoided by strict drills and training, protective equipment and drills and luck (particularly for civilians).

From Boko Harams point of view, this indiscriminate tactic is again tactically sound.

The time delayed IED: is an effective area denial and attrition weapon. Not only is it likely to catch either security or emergency forces whilst conducting recovery operations it also further terrorises civilians and denies them use of the recently attacked areas. This mean they cannot bury their dead, reopen markets or traverse roads for fear of attack, thus increasing the number of IDP’s. For the security forces it adds another layer of complexity to follow up operations, forcing them to deploy trained search officers to identify the devices and then trained bomb disposal experts to neutralise the threats. These are finite resources in any Army, and the unpredictable nature of the devices means that even if found they could still detonate while being defused killing or maiming the operator. Although not a particularly complex skill or new tactic , it is new for this theatre and again represents an indication of Boko Harams will to fight.

Roadside IED: this device is detonated either by the vehicle going over a trigger or possibly command detonated by someone lying in wait. Again for civilians this is a terrifying and devastating weapon as civilian vehicles lack the armour or blast protection to ensure survivability, thus if the blast doesn’t get them, then fire or crushing if the vehicle rolls or somersaults will. It is an efficient area denial weapon. For the military who mainly use soft skinned unarmoured vehicles this is increases the threat to their forces. Whilst there is a reasonable expectation of IED attacks in areas dominated by the enemy, their use on civilian roads adds another layer of planning and operational complexity to the issue.

Mitigating this threat is complex and is a whole series of articles in itself but not impossible. Unfortunately however alot more civilians will be killed. Boko Harams increasingly ruthless attacks against civilian targets should not in itself be taken as a sign of weakness or reorientation. They are doing what any good guerrilla army does and attacking where their adversary is weakest which is in defending isolated population centres and the lines of communication between them. The only way to counter this threat is to dominate the ground and prevent the enemy from having freedom of movement, to do this Nigeria needs more police and troops. These police and soldiers need to be trained, equipped, fed and succoured. Obviously one must bear in mind the legacy costs of a rapid expansion of forces thus innovate methods such as 4 year contracts with higher wages and no pension rights could be instituted. These short term troops could either be used in the conflict zones or more benign areas, well maintained metalled roads are harder to hide IEDs in and easier for troops to use to rapidly reinforce situations.

It would be sadly ironic if the most populous black country on earth with almost 50% unemployment failed to achieve success due to lack of manpower

Healing the sick: the high proportion of casualties from recent attacks has put pressure on medical facilities in the affected states and their neighbours. A lot of these injuries are gunshot wounds, blast wounds, burns etc. Specialised skills are needed to deal with these types of injuries and care for the wounded. As the US casts around for ways to influence events in Nigeria, assisting with military and civil medicine is a golden opportunity to circumvent any Leahy Act concerns, buy influence and have a direct impact on the civilian population.

A huge amount of skill and knowledge has been accumulated from the Campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, not just in dealing with blast and gunshot wounds, but in delivering high impact medical interventions in conflict areas. There are many redundant pieces of equipment from these conflicts that could be sold/ gifted to Nigeria as well as a huge pool of knowledge in military medicine in both the UK and US forces that could be shared with Nigeria.

It would be in the interest of both nations for a mutual exchange to take place, with Nigerian civil and military doctors embedding in US/ UK forces on exercise and in theatre and US/ UK medical personnel doing likewise.

These interventions/ exchanges should take place from the lowest , paramedic/ combat medic level to Military Hospital/ medical policy level.

This is a cheap quick win for both countries that will have an outsized positive effect on the civil population.

Advertisements

About peccavi

A Nigerian with interests in defence, security, geopolitics, the military particularly small unit tactics, COIN, stabilisation and asymmetric warfare
This entry was posted in Counter insurgency, Defence, Nigeria Defence, Nigeria Strategy, Stabilisation, Terrorism and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to OP RESTORE ORDER SITREP- Week Ending 1 February 2014

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s