Boko Haram still holds territory in Nigeria – U.S. General

By The Citizen

For the second time in a couple of months, lie has been put to claims by the federal government that Boko Haram has been de-mobilised and 'technically' degraded.

The commander of the U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM), Gen. David Rodriguez told the U.S. Senate Armed Ser­vices Committee that the Islam­ic terror group still holds terri­tory in northern Nigeria.

According to him, 'Boko Haram does hold some signif­icant territory in northern Nigeria, as do Al-Shabaab in lim­ited areas of Somalia.'

Jennifer Cooke of the Cent­er for International and Stra­tegic Studies (CSIS) gave cre­dence to Rodriguez assertion, noting that: 'It is important to remember that Boko Haram has proved resilient to setbacks in the past. The possibility that it will regroup and rebuild should be the source of critical region­al and international concern.'

Dr. Cooke, none the less gave kudos to the Nigerian military and the MJTF, for the success so far recorded in the fight against the group, say­ing, 'Many thousands of Boko Haram members, along with a number of its senior leaders, have been killed or captured, and the group no longer ap­pears to have access to the kinds of transport and equipment — tanks, armored vehicles, Toyo­ta Hilux trucks — that it has had in the past.'

Dr. Cooke also pointed out that the group's leader, Abuba­kar Shekau, has been silent.

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'The group's media oper­ation — which reportedly re­ceived technical assistance from ISIL — has gone largely quiet, and there have been no video appearances by erstwhile lead­er Abubakar Shekau (or by any of his alleged imposters) since early 2015. – Authority.