The Chadian military recently concluded Bohoma Anger, an eight-day operation around the heavily disputed islands of Lake Chad. The military inflicted a heavy toll on Boko Haram killing 1000 terrorists and destroying 50 motorized canoes, military officials claimed.
Army spokesman, Colonel Azem Bermandoa, said in a statement to the media, that the operation cleared the extremists from the islands in the vast lake area between Chad, Nigeria, Niger, and Cameroon.
“Our men occupied two Boko Haram island bases and have also deployed on the Lake Chad banks of Niger and Nigeria. They will keep their positions until the arrival of these countries’ troops,” he added.
During the operation, 52 Chadian army soldiers were killed and about 200 others wounded.
The Nigerien defense ministry released a statement that read that its armed forces, in a joint operation with Chad, had inflicted “heavy losses” on Boko Haram in the lake region.
“Arms caches, logistical points, and several boats were destroyed.” They specified that the islands, which had been used by Boko Haram as rear bases, were also bombarded as part of the operation.
Operation Bohoma Anger was conducted in response to a Boko Haram attack last month on the Bohoma army base. More than 92 soldiers were killed in that seven-hour assault. It was the deadliest attack ever on Chad’s military forces.
In 2009 Boko Haram sparked an insurgency in the region. The terrorist group has killed about 30,000 people and forced another two million from their homes during the very bloody fighting.
Boko Haram extremists have used the western shore of the lake, frequently crossing from northeastern Nigeria. Lake Chad is a very large, swampy area where the borders of Niger, Nigeria, Chad, and Cameroon meet.
In 2015, with extremist activity very high in the area, the four countries bordering the lake set up a formation called the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), which also includes Benin, to fight Boko Haram.
But Chad, whose armed forces are considered a step above those of its coalition partners, has grown increasingly frustrated by its partner’s inability to act decisively. “Chad is alone in shouldering all the burden of the war against Boko Haram,” President Idriss Deby Itno said last week.
“I met the commander of the MNJTF and asked him to take over,” he added.
Deby added that troops from Chad will no longer conduct operations outside of their own borders in the ongoing fighting in both the Lake Chad and Sahel regions.
However, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari vowed to come up with more decisive and proactive measures aimed at taking on the Boko Haram insurgency.
“Our troops have died for Lake Chad and the Sahel. From today, no Chadian soldiers will take part in a military mission outside Chad,” the President said. Chad’s military forces are well occupied. They are also part of the G5 Sahel force — comprising soldiers from Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. Led by the French, G5 is fighting in the Sahel against armed jihadist groups aligned with al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.