NIAMEY, Niger – A Chadian general has confirmed that military forces from Chad and Niger have gone into northeast Nigeria to attack Boko Haram.
Gen. Zakaria Ngobongue told The Associated Press in Chad on Monday that the troop movement marks a second front in northeast Nigeria against the extremist Islamic group. Soldiers opened the first front recently.
Adam Boukarna, a resident of Bosso which in Niger across Nigeria’s northeast border, said that vehicles have been crossing since Saturday. He said after they all crossed into Nigeria loud detonations could be heard, signalling fighting against Boko Haram members.
Nigeria’s neighbours are forming a multinational army to confront Boko Haram.
Niger’s government has not publicly confirmed this ground assault.
Cameroon’s minister of defence Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o confirmed there was an offensive by Nigeria and Chad but that Cameroon’s military was not present because they’ve been asked to protect Cameroon’s borders from the militants. Boko Haram members have been hiding themselves and supplies in Cameroon, and there are fears that the group may want to escape there when fighting intensifies in Nigeria, he said.
Residents in potential conflict zones in Cameroon have been asked to leave, he said.
Boko Haram’s Islamic uprising has killed about 12,000 people in the nearly 6-year-old Islamic uprising in northeastern Nigeria.