The South African contractors of STTEP trained and served alongside the Nigerian Strike Force in combat against Boko Haram starting in January of 2015, putting a significant dent in the terrorist organization and helping to pave the way for Nigerians trapped behind enemy lines to participate in democratic elections in late March. With their three-month contract expiring, STTEP made a controlled withdrawal from Nigeria and had all of their employees returned home by late March.
Once it was determined that their contract would not be extended, “It then became a matter of withdrawing our employees in groups whilst a skeleton crew remained in place to ensure all equipment was handed back to the army in a controlled and orderly manner,” STTEP’s chairman, Eeben Barlow, told SOFREP. “The Nigerian Air Force flew our men to a large city from where they departed Nigeria.”
When asked if STTEP successful fulfilled the services stipulated in their contract with the Nigerian government, Barlow answered, “As our contract was of a mere three month’s duration, I think we achieved the best we could with very limited resources.” The South African contractors were initially brought on to help the Nigerian military rescue the Chibok school girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists, but as the enemy made significant advances in northern Nigeria, STTEP had to adjust their approach at the request of the Nigerian government. They were now to train the strike force to conduct “unconventional mobile warfare,” Barlow said (these tactics are detailed in a previous article). “I can only commend the training team for achieving what they did in a very short space of time,” Barlow said.