Funding from foreign sponsors keeping Boko Haram going – Top Army general

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Maj.-Gen. Chris Musa, Commander of Hadin Kai, the military’s counterinsurgency operation in the North East, says funding from foreign sponsors has been sustaining Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) insurgents.

The army general said this in an exclusive interview published by TheCable on Tuesday.

Musa spoke on the death of former Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau and what it meant for the war on terror.

“Shekau is dead. It has been confirmed by even his followers. I’m sure you’ve been following up with the surrendering that has been ongoing. So far, we have over 73,000 insurgents that have surrendered, combatants and non-combatants surrendering with their children. What we basically do in the theatre is that we carry out both kinetic and non-kinetic operations. The kinetic is where we use force, and it’s just about 25%. The remaining 75% of the operation is non-kinetic, which has to do with good governance and all that stuff. Shekau is gone, dead and forgotten.

“The insurgents had in-fighting over leadership and then the ISWAP breakaway, with their allegiance to ISIS. And so, there is in-fighting between the Shekau guys and the ISWAP. And then, our own operations also go in. So all these things made their situation more complicated. Now, we’ve been able to conduct blockades, cut off the oxygen that keeps them going; funding, logistics, leadership, reinforcement within – we’ve been able to tackle those. So, combining efforts with the multinational joint task force, we are also working towards blocking the international boundary so that it will always be difficult for them to get reinforcements outside.

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“The challenge is that the funding they’re getting from foreign sponsors keeps them going and that is specifically more to the ISWAP. The leadership of both Shekau and ISWAP groups are finding it difficult because almost all their members are pulling out and so the leaders alone can’t do it. So, they formed up teams now and they’re going after those who surrendered. But Shekau is gone out of the system. It is just these remnants,” Musa said.

According to the army general, the insurgents now carry out attacks just to look for food and show their sponsors they are working.

“What we’ve also realised is that some of these guys are just doing business. A lot of times, they tell you they’re attacking here or they’re moving here, it’s just to show their sponsors that they’re still active. They only now go to look for food in the name of attacks. They lack food and very little ammunition. They’re in very terrible shape as it is. But, you know the whole north-east is massive, so they enjoy hiding here and there. It’s a cat and mouse game. But we’re on it. We’re changing our tactics as the situation changes and then we’re getting them very well,” he said.

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