Hun­dreds of Boko Haram fight­ers sur­ren­der in Chad

The Star (Kenya) - - News World -

Hun­dreds of Boko Haram fight­ers and their fam­i­lies have sur­ren­dered in Chad in the past month, se­cu­rity and UN sources said, in a sign the mil­i­tary cam­paign against them is mak­ing head­way.

Boko Haram, which has killed and kid­napped thou­sands of peo­ple, had seized an area ap­prox­i­mately the size of Bel­gium in north­east­ern Nige­ria by last year but has since lost sig­nif­i­cant ground amid grow­ing re­gional mil­i­tary pres­sure.

An­a­lyst and se­cu­rity sources think the fight­ers are prob­a­bly re­cent re­cruits that Boko Haram has strug­gled to re­tain as it has ceded ter­ri­tory. De­fec­tions of Boko Haram fight­ers have been re­ported in Nige­ria but are not known to have pre­vi­ously oc­curred on such a large scale.

“They sur­ren­dered to our troops on the front line in Lake Chad,” said Colonel Mo­ham­mad Dole, Chief Mil­i­tary Pub­lic In­for­ma­tion Of­fi­cer for the Multi­na­tion- al Joint Task Force head­quar­tered in Chad’s cap­i­tal N’Dja­mena.

“The sur­ren­ders are tak­ing place be­cause of the fire­power of our op­er­a­tions. The groups, many of them armed, have been ar­riv­ing since Septem­ber and their num­ber keeps in­creas­ing,” he said.

Some 240 fight­ers, most off whom are Cha­dian, are now be­ing held in de­ten­tion along with their fam­i­lies, Dole said.

/REUTERS

Some of the 21 Chi­bok school­girls re­leased by Boko Haram dur­ing their visit to meet Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari In Abuja, Nige­ria, on Oc­to­ber 19

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