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MNJTF commander-in-chief wants more resources to defeat jihadists

6 October 2021
Reading time: 2 minutes

The Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) is struggling to “ensure the effectiveness of its actions”, according to its commander-in-chief, Major General Abdul Khalifah IBRAHIM..

He was addressing the Third Lake Chad Basin Governors’ Forum held on October 4 and 5 in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Yusuf said lack of equipment was a major problem. The Multinational Joint Task Force was created in 1994 to fight against crime and various trafficking offences in the Lake Chad Basin on the borders of Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon.

The objective of the Multinational Joint Task Force was revised in 2014 to fight terror attacks by the Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’way Wa’l-Jihād (JAS), more commonly referred to as Boko Haram, and later the extremists from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).

The area comprises a vast expanse of water and swamps, studded with islets, which extremists often use as their strongholds. The vastness and the number of islets enable insurgents to move quickly from one island to another if they suspect they might be caught by the FMM.

The force is made up of units from the Chadian, Cameroonian, Nigerian, Nigerian and Beninese armies.

Yusuf told the forum that the FMM had been accused of being ineffective against jihadist groups, such as JAS and ISWAP, and gangs of bandits in the area.

He said this was because of a lack of equipment, adding that it was nearly impossible for the FMM to take on the extremists with the equipment it had on hand.

Yusuf said the FMM did not have enough armoured vehicles, drones and aircraft capable of undertaking airstrikes on the extremists’ whose attacks had escalated and had become more violent.

He said there was also a lack of means of communication.

The general called on member states to honour their promises to support the FMM, which he said they had not kept.

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