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Military airstrike: Notorious JAS commander and 27 of his comrades ‘neutralised’

10 August 2022
Reading time: 4 minutes

The military has confirmed that the infamous commander of the Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’way Wa’l-Jihād (JAS), Alhaji Modu, also known as “Bem Bem”, and 27 of his comrades were killed on Wednesday, August 3, during airstrikes on Mandara Mountain in the Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State.

It said troops of the Air Task Force (ATF), Operation Hadin Kai, had “neutralised” the JAS, more commonly known as Boko Haram, insurgents, adding that an unknown number of them had been severely wounded.

Modu was said to have used the caves in the mountain as a hideout. It was from there that he coordinated attacks in Nigeria, Cameroon and Niger. The JAS commander was said to be a drug baron and armed robber before he joined the insurgency.

Sources reportedly said the operation followed credible intelligence reports indicating that the JAS fighters were converging in large numbers with the intention of conducting attacks.

Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, Nigeria’s Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), charged the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) operational commanders to “show no mercy” and ensure that they employed maximum firepower against “terrorists posing security threats” to the country.

Bukar Kawu Monguno, director of Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies and a lecturer at the geography department of the University of Maiduguri told RNI that he commended the efforts of the Nigerian armed forces in the fight against the insurgency, adding that it was very good news that they had neutralised many insurgents, including a top commander.

He hoped the military would continue these victories despite the challenges and difficulties.

“The military should always take the war to the insurgents in the ongoing counterinsurgency operations. Soldiers should not relax and sit down in their barracks or bases waiting to be attacked or ambushed by the insurgents because people always like to hear about the military’s  successes, achievements and feats. People really do not want to hear about insurgents defeating the military.”

Monguno said the military should increase its efforts in fighting the insurgents in the forests. “The military is well-equipped in terms of weapons and other military hardware. So, the military is in the right position to crush the insurgents.”

He said it was clear that President Muhammadu Buhari was doing his best to support the military by procuring world-class arms and weapons and other military hardware, such as Super Tucano fighter jets.

“This is a welcome development and very good progress in the ongoing counterinsurgency operations in the northeast region and other parts of the country. It’s clear the military now has all the necessary required apparatus to wipe out these insurgents in the forests.

“However, we are already in the rainy season and sometimes it’s very difficult for troops on the ground to access deep areas in the Sambisa Forest, so the military should make use of its technology or smart gadgets or devices, such as drones, to track the location of the insurgents and crush them by airstrikes or shellings. The military should also strengthen its relationship with the locals who can often give them useful information or intels about the insurgents.”

Monguno said that when the military had successfully defeated insurgents – as in this case – It should draw it to the attention of the people, preferably showing evidence of its victories. This would show their accountability and transparency, as well as earn the public’s trust. He said sometimes a statement or press release was not enough. People wanted concrete evidence.

It was time now, he said, for insurgents to lay down their arms and embrace peace because everyone was suffering as a result of the aimless war that had left so many people dead and displaced millions of people.

“All of us are feeling the pain of this war. Farming activities remain at a standstill and farmers cannot even travel 2km to 3km away to farm because of insecurity. You [insurgents] also need the farm produce to survive but still you’re stopping people from farming. Now all of us are suffering from starvation. What’s the point of this?

“I’m begging the insurgents in the name of Almighty Allah to lay down their arms and come to the negotiation table with the government and have a proper dialogue over their [the insurgents’] demands. All of us will then be able to live in peace and stability in our dear Borno State, as we did before.”


About the author

Mbodou Hassane Moussa

Journaliste de formation et de profession. Passionné par l'écriture, le digital et les médias sociaux, ces derniers n'ont aucun secret pour lui. Il a embrassé très tôt l'univers des médias et de la Communication. Titulaire d'une Licence en journalisme et d'un Master en Management des projets, Mbodou Hassan Moussa est éditeur Web du journal en ligne Toumaï Web Médias. Aujourd'hui, il est devenu Webmaster à la Radio Ndarason internationale et collabore à la réalisation du journal en langue française et dialecte Kanembou.