NORTHERN NIGERIA INTERNAL SECURITY SITREP- Week Ending 26 April 2014

Situation Friendly Forces:

Date Situation Friendly Forces Situation Enemy Forces
20 April 7 more girls from GGSS CHIBOK, escaped from their captors overnight, making a total of 52 girls accounted for and 77 still missing Gunmen attacked the staff quarters of Government Girls Secondary School, YANA, SHIRA LGA, BAUCHI State at 2.30am killing a 5 year old girl, burning down a GSM mast, school bus and stealing a private car
Church guards at St Robert Catholic Church, GBEM-TSAMBE, VANDEIKYA LGA, BENUE state reportedly prevented an attack by alleged nomadic gunmen armed with small arms and IEDs  
21 April Parents have told Borno State Governor Kashim SHETTIMA that 234 girls are missing from GGSS CHIBOK, the figure of 129 was derived from those registered to write the Physics exam. 3 gunmen mounted on motorcycles blocked the MAIDUGURI-DIKWA Road near MAFA Town killing 2 motorists going to GUDUMBALI. Both the murdered men were senior politicians.
The Police Officers Wives Association gave out 100 bags of rice, washing detergent and other food items to 100 widows of Policemen killed in BORNO Gunmen attacked ANDOYAKU, WUKARI LGA, TARABA State, with small arms killing 25 people and burning the village
Acting TARABA State Governor Garba UMAR relaxed the 24 hour curfew from 18.00 to 12.00  
22 April BORNO State Commissioner for Education accepted that 234 is an accurate figure for the number of students abducted from GGSS CHIBOK  BBC News broadcasts interviews with members of criminal gangs in DIFFA, NIGER Republic who claim to have been recruited to fight for Boko Haram in Nigeria. All claimed to be motivated by the money stating Boko Haram offered N500,000 to those who joined them, whilst those that didn’t join in acted as informants for their friends
  Gunmen attacked GIDAN AKU, WUKARI LGA, TARABA State with small arms killing 50 people, injuring an unspecified number of people and burning properties. The attackers reportedly came from NASARAWA State via the River BENUE. The Acting Governor stated that 50 additional soldiers and an unspecified number of policemen had been deployed to the town from YOLA, ADAMAWA State along with 28 trailers of relief materials sent to TAKUM, WUKARI, GASSOL and IBI.
Parents of the students kidnapped from GGSS CHIBOK have insisted that the actual number of kidnapped girls is 250, with 39 rescued Gunmen attacked AUYEN-YAKU Village, TARABA State with smalls reportedly killing 35 people, setting the village alight and leaving another 15 missing
23 April The NPF has decorated an Inspector, A sergeant and 4 Constables for defending MOPOL 41 base, DAMATURU, against Boko Haram attack on 16 February 2014. Gunmen opened fire on a military checkpoint in SABONGARI HYAMBULA, MADAGALI LGA, ADAMAWA State killing 1 soldier and 4 civilians. 2 attackers were killed in the firefight as well.
False reports circulated on social media claimed that Boko Haram insurgents had cut the LAGOS-IBADAN Expressway. NEMA confirmed the reports were false
A ferry operator has been detained in the vicinity of LAKE CHAD on suspicion of transporting Boko Haram across the Lake and another on suspicion of supplying them with narcotics
Nomadic gunmen captured by the Joint Task Force (JTF) after the raid on WUKARI have allegedly confessed to being part of Boko Haram and carrying out multiple attacks in ZAMFARA, BENUE, NASARAWA and TARABA States. They were reportedly dressed in a similar manner to Boko Haram and captured with unspecified types and amounts of arms and ammunition.
24 April   President Goodluck JONATHAN presided over a Security Council meeting involving the Sultan of Sokoto Saad ABUBAKAR III (President Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs), Pastor Ayo ORITSEJAFOR (Christian Association of NIGERIA), 24 state governors and Deputy Governors for JIGAWA, IMO, OYO, RIVERS, KANO, OGUN, PLATEAU, EDO and YOBE, the head of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Police, Customs and Immigration, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigerian Securty and Civil Defence Corps, Interior Minister, Minister of Defence, Minister of Police Affairs, Minister of Foreign Affairs, minister of Agriculture and the Attorney General of the Federation. Gunmen attacked army positions in the vicinity of BULANBULI, BORNO State in an attempt to free prisoners captured around ALAGARMO. The military reports that 40 insurgents were killed, 16 rifles and assorted ammunition were captured along with IEDs, SIM cards and electronics devices, 4 soldiers were reportedly killed and 9 wounded.
A report from NEMA states that 37% of Primary Health Services in North East Nigeria had closed down due to the insurgency and the remaining Primary Health Centres were overwhelmed by IDP’s.
  Nomadic gunmen who moved from TARABA and BENUE States in NIGERIA attacked EFUNG, AFU, GAYAMA and MAYI in CAMEROUN with small arms killing 20 people, burning houses and destroying crops.
The BAUCHI State Government has ordered the evacuation of staff and students from GGSS YANA, after the Sunday attack
NEMA has stated that the National and State Emergency Management Agencies are being overwhelmed by IDP’s and the health service collapsing in the state of emergency states and requested the assistance of International NGO’s
25 April Nomadic gunmen attacked TSE DZUNGWE, MBAKORYA and TOMBO, LOGO LGA,BENUE State with small arms killing 5 people. The attackers have allegedly occupied TSE TSE, DZUNGWE, ADZEGEH, TSE GBELEVE, TSE AVULE, ANYIBE, TSE IBWAR and IKYUNGWA Villages
26 April A tribal militia attacked IGGA, NASARAWA State leading to fighting between GWANDARA and EGGON peoples which killed 30 people with vehicles and property burnt and an unspecified number of people displaced. The cause was said to be a land dispute between two men from either tribes. Both tribes claim the militia came from the opposing side. The injured were evacuated by the military.

 

Statistics

Table 4 Insurgent incidents

Insurgent Incidents  IED Vehicle IED Suicide IED Small Arms Small arms+IED Other wpns Theft Kidnapping
0 0 0 9 0 1 0 0

 

Analysis:

Analysis:

Heads you win, tails you lose:

The enemy has scored a strong strategic victory by the abduction of 234 (or 129) girls from GGSS (or is it GSS) Chibok.. They have made good on their promise ‘to take slaves and sell in the market’, shown that the Government cannot protect its citizens and taken extremely valuable bargaining chips with which to obtain concessions or ransom.

If the security forces manage to locate them, they cannot move on them as they would kill/ injure more hostages than they could possibly rescue, (there are in fact virtually no armed forces on the planet that can effect such a rescue short of bombarding the camp with sleep inducing drugs). If they do not identify the enemy positions they look incompetent.

If the security forces refuse to negotiate or refuse to pay a ransom or give other concessions they appear callous and Boko Haram can easily ratchet up emotions by starting to execute hostages. If they negotiate and accept terms, pay a ransom, release prisoners and give concessions, they have rewarded kidnappers and terrorists and given them a powerful incentive to do the same again.

If the security forces do nothing and just hope everyone forgets, the parents, civil society and the enemy themselves will make sure they don’t. If they single mindedly focus on freeing the hostages, every single day any one of those girls is in captivity is a victory for the enemy, that the entire world can see.

Heads you win, tails you lose.

The enemy has the ability to extract a significant ransom, exchange prisoners and obtain other concessions from the security forces. However once this has been done the released hostages will be a valuable source of intelligence on their locations, tactics and procedures. They could renege on the deal and give the security forces carte blanche to go in aggressively, arguing with some merit that the hostages were most likely going to be killed anyway.

Whatever concessions obtained will have to be balanced against the fact that kidnapping (mainly) Muslim female children is not something that can be positively spun or easily explained even in the most virulent of jihadi circles. Boko Haram has virtually no popular support, except in those areas immediately bordering North Eastern Nigeria that they do not directly operate in, they have negligible support in the Western/ Middle Eastern/ Asian jihadi-sphere. It is the opinion of this commentator that the Nyanya bombing, with its virtually immediate Arabic language video was an attempt to broaden that support base, with a ‘propaganda of the deed’ type spectacular.

Whatever success that might have had is completely sunk by this abduction.

Heads they win, tails they lose.

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

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