Situation Friendly Forces
Representatives of the Eggon and Fulani ethnic groups in NASARAWA State agreed a truce in LAFIA, NASARAWA State facilitated by the House of Representatives member for LAFIA/OBI Dr Joseph Haruna KIGBU.
7 Div restricted all vehicular and animal borne movement within its AO from 6.00am 01/01/2015 to 6.00pm 02/01/2015
YOBE State Government restricts vehicular movement from 7.00am 31/12/2014 to 7.00am 03/01/2015
The Nigeria Army will reportedly hold a General Courts Martial for a Brigadier General, 10 x Colonels, 1 x Major, 6 x Captains and 1 x 2nd Lieutenant in the 9 Brigade Officers Mess, IKEJA Cantonment, LAGOS, LAGOS State
Media reports state that the Nigeria Army has reportedly dismissed 203 soldiers from 19 Battalion without pay or benefits after a Courts Martial. The soldiers who were convicted of refusing to obey a direct order allege they did not refuse the order but asked for support weapons but instead were issued 60 rounds each for an operation, in which they were to be transited in a tipper truck and were owed up to 5 months back pay
Representatives of the CJTF in BAMA, BAMA LGA, BORNO State allege that Camerounian forces engaged in a cross border attack on insurgents in the town on 26th December 2014 allowing some of the towns people to escape.
Situation Enemy Forces
Gunmen shot 2 German engineers in the vicinity of RINJI Village, BUWARI District, ABUJA FCT whilst they were on a motorcycle trip. They were alleged to have disturbed cattle rustlers
Suspected nomadic gunmen attacked TATTAURA Village, SANGA LGA, KADUNA State with small arms around 10.00pm killing 10 people and injuring 4 others.
A Victim operated IED detonated in the playground of ARIKAME Primary School, POTISKUM, YOBE State around 6.30pm killing a vendor whose wheel barrow activated the device.
A VBIED concealed in sacks of ban and maize in a Toyota Hilux detonated prematurely in the vicinity of CHIKWARKIR Village, BIU LGA, YOBE State killing the 7 occupants. The vehicle was believed to have been heading towards BIU Market in BIU, BIU LGA, YOBE State
Approximately 20 gunmen mounted in 4 pickup trucks and 5 motorcycles attacked KAUTIKARI, DAMBOA LGA, BORNO State around 7.00am with small arms and petrol bombs killing 15 people and burning commercial and residential properties
An IED detonated in a car as it left a checkpoint in BAJOGA, FUNAKAYE LGA, YOBE State, killing the 3 occupants
Gunmen shot 2 men on a motorcycle, beheading another and injuring one more person in JWAK MAITUMBI, MANGU LGA, PLATEAU State. Local youths reportedly traced the gunmen to a local Fulani man’s house, whilst requesting to search, someone opened fire injuring one of the youths causing them to go on a rampage, burning several Fulani houses and causing the death of a visitor to one of the houses, leading to a Fulani retaliation that resulted in 4 more deaths and more burnt properties
A PBSIED detonated in a vehicle in MAIDUWA, FIKA LGA, YOBE State around 1.00pm killing himself and 5 others. The driver and a teenager were injured and taken to hospital. The bus was heading to the market from GOMBE State
A female PBSIED detonated in the vicinity of 301 Artillery Regiment, BOLARI, GOMBE, GOMBE State. She had refused to stop for a search and begun to run towards the gate until she was shot by soldiers on guard detonating the device. The driver of the Keke NAPEP tricycle she arrived on was also reportedly killed
Gunmen attacked MALARI, DAMBOA LGA, BORNO State around 8.00pm, and abducted approximately 40 young men between the ages of 15 and 23
Gunmen beheaded 3 people and shot one other in KANTOMA Village, MANGU LGA, PLATEAU State
A male PBSIED mounted on a motorcycle detonated at the entrance to the ECWA church in GOMBE, GOMBE State around 8.00am after being refused entry. He killed himself and slightly injured 10 people.
Gunmen attacked MALARI Village, DAMBOA LGA, BORNO State around 5.00pm killing an unspecified number of villagers and abducting an unspecified number of youths aged 12-25 to their camp reportedly known as MODUBE Camp
NPF Anti Bomb Squad defused an IED close to the residence of an Islamic scholar Sheik Yahayaa JINGIR in JOS, PLATEAU State. The IED was discovered the night before during Eid el Maalud.
Gunmen attacked the MJNTF base in BAGA, KUKAWA LGA, BORNO State around 5.00am inflicting casualties upon friendly forces, reportedly overrunning the base
Suspected nomadic gunmen attacked AMBE MADAKI Village, SANGA LGA, KADUNA State around 4.00am killing 15 people and burning over 20 houses, local residents marched to the Local Government Headquarters GWANTU on a protest march
Suspected nomadic gunmen attacked HURUN Village, MANGU LGA, PLATEAU State killing 10 people and burning 20 houses
Gunmen attacked BABBANGIDA Town, TARMUWA LGA, YOBE State around 6.30pm targeting the Local Government Secretariat, Primary School, Government Lodge, police station and the military outpost. The attackers came from GUJBA LGA
Situation External Forces
Gunmen ambushed troops from 41eme BIM en route to MORA between WAZA and DOUBLE, LOGONE ET CHARI Department killing 2 soldiers.
Gunmen ambushed Camerounian forces in the vicinity of WAZA, LOGONE ET CHARI Department, resulting in 7 enemy and 1 Camerounian soldier killed
Camerounian forces arrested several Boko Harams suspects in MAKARI, LOGONE ET CHARI Department in a market where they reportedly came to purchase supplies
Gunmen attacked and overran a Camerounian BIM base in ASHIGASHIYA, MAYO TSANAGA Department, EXTREME NORD Region around 4.00am with small arms. The camp was retaken with air support that conducted 2 strikes.
Camerounian forces attacked a Boko Haram camp in CHOGORI, LOGONE ET CHARI Department, EXTREME NORD Region killing 34 enemy and destroying 2 pickups.
Thousands of civilians have been reportedly displaced in MAYO TSANAGA Department by fighting with Boko Haram with people reportedly on the KOUYAPE-KOZA Road heading towards KOZA and MOKOLO
An IED detonated against a BIR vehicle around 1.00pm between AMCHIDE and KOLOFATA, MAYO SAVA Department, EXTREME NORD Region killing 2 soldiers and injuring 2 others
NIGER’s Interior Minister Hassoumi MASSAOUDOU to the Nigerien National Assembly that the Nigerien government would like to negotiate with Boko Haram but did not know who to talk to.
Gunmen attacked the police station in DOUBLE, MAYO SAVA Department, EXTREME NORD Region killing 1 policeman
Gunmen attacked a bus heading to MORA in the vicinity WAZA, LOGONE ET CHARI Department with small arms killing 11 and injuring 6 people. The attackers stole the vehicle
Gunmen attacked a bus en route from KOUSSERI to MAROUA in the vicinity of MAROUA, DIAMARE Department, EXTREME NORD Region killing 15 people.
The Camerounian Police Chief Martin Mbarga NGUELLE states that it is to recruit 4,700 policemen this year, 5,000 next year and 6,000 into the military this year
A Boko Haram Intelligence coordination cell CCL-Boko Haram has been opened in the French run Camp KOSSEI, N’DJAMENA, CHAD, part of the French Sahelian counter terror Operation Barkhane is seeks to coordinate intelligence between NIGERIA, CHAD and CAMEROUN and consists of 2 x Chadian personnel, 2 x Nigerian personnel and 6 x French personnel, with 3 French liaison teams in each of the member
Camerounian forces discovered a grenade in the vicinity of PONT VERT, MAROUA, EXTREME NORD Region
Gunmen attacked MAMANI Village, LOGONE ET CHARI Department, EXTREME NORD Region around 6.00pm killing one person attempting to steal livestock and burning down the village
The Camerounian Ministry of Agriculture states there is a shortage of 132, 000 tons of grain in the EXTREME NORD Region, particularly in MAYO SAVA, MAYO TSANAGA and LOGONE ET CHARI Departments mainly due to the insurgency
A Northern Camerounian lawmaker Sali DAIROU stated that Boko Haram had stolen cattle from ranchers on the border between BORNO and ADAMAWA State and CAMEROUN.
Gunmen attacked MAHOULA
Table 1 Insurgent incidents
|Insurgent Incidents||IED||Vehicle IED||Suicide IED||Small Arms||Small arms+IED||Other wpns||Theft||Kidnapping||Foreign Attacks|
Boko Harams Harmatttan Offensive: The Attack
The last two weeks have seen the beginning of what this commentator considers to be the Main Effort of the current campaign.
It has been this commentator’s opinion that this campaign had two basic objectives: Defend their current gains by threatening major cities in order to suck friendly forces into defending them
Expand to the North and to the Southeast; to the North by defining an ungoverned space along the Nigerien border similar to that along the Camerounian border and to the southeast in order to further cover the approaches to the Mandara Mountains. As part of this they were to initiate fundraising, logistics and terror actions in order to prepare for an attack west into Northern Gombe and Bauchi.
It has been observed that Boko Haram’s offensives has 5 stages
- Preparation of the Battlespace
- Shaping the Battlespace
- Isolating the Battlespace
- The Attack
- The Defence
These stages can run sequentially or simultaneously. This is demonstrated by the fact that Boko Haram is launching battalion sized attacks in Geidam, Amchide, Ashigashiya and Baga, whilst using IEDs in Kano and Gombe, whist abducting boys and young men in Malari and robbing banks in Gombe.
Thus Boko Harams Preparation of the Battlespace in this campaign has continued throughout just shifting locations
They have raised funds through bank robberies, looting of towns and private buildings, highway robbery of goods and vehicles as well as taxing Camerounian and Nigerian traders, villagers, smugglers, market people and business people in and around the ungoverned.
They have built up their logistics by stealing trucks and vehicles in towns or raids on businesses and government offices (i.e. Ashakacem) fuel is believed to be bought in Cameroun or Nigeria and transported to their camps. Raids on Cattle markets, ranches and villages have supplied livestock and grains whilst arms and ammunition has been captured and bought from the Sahelian and Central African arms market as several arrests by Camerounian forces as far away as Littoral Region in the east.
Boko Haram has returned to the tried and tested method of forced conscription to bolster their depleted ranks as the steady stream of recruits from Cameroun dries up a bit, however ‘lighter sinned’ fighters are reportedly becoming more prevalent
In the Northern axis i.e. North Borno State and North Extreme Nord Region(bordering Chad and Niger Republics with Kouserri, Cameroun as the eastern boundary and the Borno/ Yobe border as the western boundary linked by the Niger Republic border and the southern shore of Lake Chad). It can be seen that the enemy has secured its ungoverned space along the Nigerien border with the capture of Abadam, Malam Fatori, Damasak and now Baga. Likewise in Cameroun the enemy has captured Sagme, Gouma, Dambore and Soueram in Logone et Chari Department, bordering Chad’s Lac State.
The enemy appears to be looking to expand this area in Cameroun using IEDs to isolate towns and bases in order to force the Camerounians to try and prioritise their combat power to a few key bases and the lines of communication to them. If the enemy sustains its operational tempo in Cameroun and begins using IEDs in attacks against civilian targets the Camerounians will be forced to surrender the more isolated locations to protect major population centres like Kouserri, Mora and Kolofata
In the South of the AO (southeast Adamawa State) the enemy has launched a concerted IED campaign, at the same time abducting scores of boys and young men and stealing foodstock, livestock and other supplies on both sides of the border. While in the centre seeking to shape the battlespace with an ongoing campaign of IED attacks and armed raids to raise funds and gather supplies.
Conclusion: The crisis of the battle has been reached with the enemy appearing to have held onto the initiative and secured their primary objectives.
The enemies’ survivability and tactical success has been due to their ruthlessness, unity of purpose, operational flexibility, mobility and use of geography.
All of these still remain in their favour. Until the 4 countries surrounding Lake Chad understand this and pool resources, to launch a concerted and coordinated counter offensive that ignores borders, unifies the logistics, air support, intelligence, ISR, infantry, artillery, communications and engineer support in this area Boko Haram ill continue to exploit the artificial boundaries and use the natural ones to their benefit. An example is the fight for Ashigashiya, Nigerian forces could have ignored the border and fallen back to Camerounian Ashigashiya in order to launch a counter strike, with their supplies coming from the east rather than the west. Likewise Boko Haram will use the huge natural obstacle of Lake Chad to launch attack in each country irrespective, confident that they can retreat and attack over the water and hide on the reed islands.
Simply gathering forces and trying to take capture one town after another is futile. The fight must be taken to the enemy, taken deep into the ungoverned spaces with maximum aggression and violence. This force should not be constrained by boundaries and should occupy the key areas to the enemy, the Mandara Mountains, Sambisa Forest, Waza Nature Reserve and Lake Chad. A well trained well led force, with robust logistics and organic firepower in these areas would rip the heart out of the enemy.
Such a force would force the enemy to divert forces to respond, it would take the initiative away from the enemy and force them to fight a battle on friendly forces terms.
The only country that can lead and coordinate such a force it is Nigeria, a multi brigade if not multi division force, under a Nigerian corps commander with a Combined Intelligence, Combined Logistics, Combined Joint Fires, Combined Air Forces, Combined police and a comprehensive plan to take the fight to the enemy. This force will start with Nigeria and Cameroun and then others will join.
There is a tiny window before Nigeria is forced to commit its forces to the elections and then the inevitable post election violence
It is not yet too late