OP RESTORE ORDER SITREP- Week Ending 15 February 2014

Situation Friendly Forces:

10 February: The Federal Government will build new border posts in the North east in addition to the 10 that already exist in order to curb illegal migration and transborder crime, according to the BORNO State Comptroller of the Nigerian Immigration Services (NIS)

13 February:

  • The College of Education, HONG, ADAMAWA State has been closed down due to a series of threatening letters allegedly sent by insurgents threatening to attack the school
  • 3 Boko Haram suspects (Mohammed YUNUS, Salami ABDULLAHI and Musa UMAR) have had the ruling for their bail application reserved till 28 February at Federal High Court, ABUJA. The accused were remanded to KUJE Prison till then
  • The trial of Senator Mohammed Ali NDUME on a 4 count charge for allegedly sponsoring Boko Haram has been adjourned to 31st March, due to 3 prosecution witnesses not turning up to the Federal High Court, ABUJA

15 February:

  • A battalion from 82 Division, ENUGU (name/ type or role unknown) has been deployed to BORNO State to reinforce forces there
  • 20 suspected Boko Haram members have been arrested in NIGER REPUBLIC on suspicion of planning to attack DIFFA, DIFFA Prefecture, NIGER, which borders BORNO State. All the suspects are said to be Nigerian
  • 10,000 people are said to have fled to GULAK Town, MADAGALI LGA, ADAMAWA State from various border villages to escape Boko Haram’s attacks.
  • NEMA has moved a truckload of relief supplies to KONDUGA LGA

Situation Enemy Forces:

10 February: approximately 150 gunmen mounted on motorcycles attacked 3 villages in ZAMFARA State around midnight killing 12 people in TUNGAR RAKUMI, 4 in MALLAMAWA and 4 in KANGARAWA in BIRNIN MAGAJI LGA. The attackers were suspected to be cattle rustlers retaliating the killing of 3 of their number the previous week. The attackers were repelled by a police patrol team, one of whom one was killed.

11 February:

  • Approximately 150 gunmen mounted in 4WD vehicles and dressed in military style uniform attacked KONDUGA Village, BORNO State around 5.30pm with small arms and explosives killing 58 people, wounding 65 (4 of whom subsequently died of their injuries and burning over 70% of the village including the mosque, clinic and library. Several local schools were attacked and set on fire and 20 female students were abducted from the Konduga College of Business Studies, 5 girls were also abducted from the market, the local hospital was also attacked and a doctor abducted and drugs and medical supplies stolen. Security forces responded after several hours with aircraft
  • Gunmen attacked WAJIRKO Village, BORNO State killing 4 people and wounding 6 others and destroying approximately 50 houses.
  • Mustapha UMAR who was convicted of the bomb attack on SOJ Plaza (hosting 3 media houses), KADUNA in 2012 killing 3 people has filed a motion of appeal at the Court of Appeal, ABUJA

13 February:

  • 9 soldiers from 23 Armoured Brigade were killed and several wounded in an ambush by insurgents mounted in vehicles equipped with AA weapons, in the vicinity of IZHE, MADAGALI LGA, ADAMAWA State. An unknown number of insurgents were killed in the firefight
  • Troops have been deployed to MARARI Village, KONDUGA LGA, near University of MAIDUGURI with rumours of an impending attack by insurgents. Reinforcements of troops and armoured vehicles have been seen moving from DAMATURU to MAIDUGURI

15 February:

  • Gunmen mounted in 6 trucks and a number of motorcycles, dressed in military style uniforms attacked IZGHE Village, GWOZA LGA, BORNO State at 9.30pm with small arms and IEDs killing 106 civilians and wounding an unknown amount of others. The attackers also looted businesses and food stores and stole 10 vehicles.
  • Gunmen attacked DORON BAGA, near LAKE CHAD killing an unknown number of people, several others also drowned escaping the attack
  • Insurgents attacked YAZZA Village killing 25 people and 7 other villages in MADAGALI LGA, ADAMAWA State killing 40 others
  • Insurgents ambushed a bus along the MAIDUGURI-DAMBOA Road murdering a young man who refused to be forcibly conscripted. The rest of the passengers fled to a military check point and were taken onward to MAIDUGURI

Situation External Forces:

15 February: Media reports indicate that a Boko Haram leader Imam Ibn Muhammad ABUBAKAR wrote to Camerounian President Paul BIYA threatening reprisals if CAMEROUN continued to assist NIGERIA’s campaign against the sect

Statistics

Table 1 Casualties

  Killed Wounded Missing/   Detained
NPF/DSS

1

 ??

0

Military

9

??

0

Total NSF

 10

??

0

Vigilantes

0

0

0

Foreigners

0

0

0

Insurgents

 ??

??

Male:

0

Female:

0

Civilian

258??

67??

26

 

Table 4 Insurgent incidents

Insurgent   Incidents

 

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

0

0

0

3

6

0

0

1

 

Analysis:

Our Bloody Valentine: there was nothing to love about Valentine weekend this year, with hundreds of innocent Nigerians losing their lives, mourning their dead or eking out a miserable existence in the bush or displaced persons camps.

Boko Haram has again regained the initiative in their own inimitably brutal way by concentrating forces against soft, difficult to reach and defend targets and attacking the most vulnerable. It is difficult to discern exactly how Boko Haram visualises the end of this conflict or what conditions they would consider ‘victory’ but it is clear that popular consent or assent is not one of those conditions.

The Nigerian security forces are again wrong footed by the insurgents whose formless and ruthless tactics have been completely operationally sound. They have managed to constantly mass forces at will, interdict line of communication, attack where friendly forces are weakest and make good their escape.

The military seem to have the right ideas but they seem to not come together, the retraining of forces for COIN/ IS operations’, reinforcing with troops from other divisions, beginning hot pursuit operations into Cameroun are all good ideas but unless joined up will not have an effect on the insurgents.

All the pieces are in place thus it just needs to be brought into play in the right order.

It is the considered opinion of this reviewer that Boko Harams efforts while tactically devastating and operationally severe are strategically insignificant. The insurgency does not affect any of the main economic, political, administrative or populated areas of the country or the main food producing parts of the country thus it is not an existential threat to Nigeria. Whilst a local tragedy, the current level of violence though terrible for locals does not affect the rest of the country except for the cost in blood and treasure of the ongoing operations.

However there is an unfortunate timeline to which the country is wedded which are the 2015 elections. These promise to be some of the most tense and brutal in recent years not due to any major ideological or policy differences between parties or personalities but purely based on whose ‘turn’ it is.

Security requirements for previous elections have been astronomical, with so in order to secure the elections there must be security in the Federation, if the elections do not take place in the North East (which they can’t under a state of emergency), there will be a constitutional crisis and almost inevitably mass protests and rioting.

In essence, there are insufficient forces to effectively secure the country, police an election, suppress an insurgency and prevent further outbreaks of violence.

This leads to a conclusion that the insurgency must be neutralised by the end of 2014.

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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, Nigeria Defence, Nigeria Strategy, Stabilisation, Terrorism and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to OP RESTORE ORDER SITREP- Week Ending 15 February 2014

  1. Kay says:

    Hopefully we find a solution to this menace…

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