MNJTF-FC confirms killing of key BHTs, ISWAP Leaders… as he honours outgoing Military Officers with Medals

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By Joy Odor

The Force Commander (FC) of the Multinational Joint Taskforce (MNJTF), Major General Abdul Khalifah Ibrahim has confirmed that some key leaders of Boko Haram and ISWAP have been eliminated.

He disclosed this at MNJTF Headquarters in Camp Farcha, N`Djamena, Republic of Chad during Medal Parade ceremony for the outgoing Military Staff Officer (MSOs) who have completed one year tour of duty.

While commending the professional handling of ongoing mass surrendering of Boko Haram/ISWAP insurgents, he urged other members to lay down their arms.

According to a statement by the Chief Military Public Information, HQ MNJTF, Colonel Muhammad Dole, and made available to Security Watch Africa (SWA) said the Taskforce will go after any leader successor and members who fail to surrender.

The statement said “He confirmed the killing of key BHT/ISWAP leaders; Abu Musab Al-Barnawi and Mallam Bako, with assurance that the Force surely go after any successor as well as the terrorists` groups as a whole.

“General Ibrahim therefore called on the remaining BHT/ISWAP criminals to embrace the path of peace, by dropping their arms and surrender to security forces. He thanked the brotherly Republic of Chad for being a good host to the HQ MNJTF.

The successes, he said, included “the liberation of communities previously held by the terrorists, rescue of thousands of captives, neutralization of countless insurgents and resettlement of thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons back to Banki town, Baga and Doron Baga in Nigeria; Amchide and Kolofata in Cameroon; and Baroua in Niger Republic among others.”

The statement disclosed that a total of Twenty-Four MSOs from Republics of Benin, Nigeria and Chad were decorated with MNJTF Medals and the Operation YANCIN TAFKI Medals on Wednesday in recognition of their meritorious service for peace and security in the Lake Chad region.

Concerning the awards, the Force Commander said “Award of medals remains one of the most cherished and sacred traditions of the military and military medals are awarded in recognition of bravery or gallantry, heroism, or meritorious service.”

In his remarks, the Special Guest of Honour (SGOH), the Chadian Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Lieutenant General Abakar Abdelkarim Daoud, represented by Major General G Mandjita congratulated the recipients for the excellent performance to merit the award of MNJTF Medals.

He commended the FC for the great work of ensuring return of normalcy in the region, thus creating necessary conditions for relocation and resettlement of affected communities.

He assured the FC of continued safety, security and a conducive working environment for the MNJTF.

Apart from the decoration of outgoing MSOs with MNJTF Medals, there were also presentations of Souvenir and Medal to SGOH, presentation of plaques to MSOs, and group photograph.

Recalling that the MNJTF was re-operationalized in 2015 to tackle the insurgency in the Lake Chad Basin region and restore normalcy to the affected communities, he said the Force since inception had conducted operations and undertaken other non-kinetic activities towards meeting its mandate.

Dignitaries who attended the ceremony included the Ambassadors of Niger and Cameroon, while Nigerian Ambassador was represented, the representative of Honourable Minister of Defence, the Chadian Chief of Air Staff, Representative of Head of Mission MNJTF, Resident Special Representatives of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), European Union (EU) and African Union (AU).

Others are top brass of Chadian military authorities, Defence Attaches and Advisers from Niger, Cameroon, Nigeria, United States, the representatives of Operations Barkhane, Centre for Coordination and Liaison (CCL) and G5 Sahel Joint Taskforce.

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