Ill-equipped Nigeria troops 'can’t fight Boko Haram'

2014-05-19 14:26
A screengrab taken from a video released by Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram obtained by AFP shows girls wearing the full-length hijab. (AFP)

A screengrab taken from a video released by Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram obtained by AFP shows girls wearing the full-length hijab. (AFP)

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Cape Town – A Nigerian soldier has reportedly revealed the dissatisfaction among the country's military forces and how difficult it is for the army to take on the al-Qaeda-linked terror group Boko Haram.

At least 223 Nigerian girls remain missing more than a month after they were abducted from their school by Haram Islamists in Chiboko.

According to Sky News, the soldier who preferred to remain anonymous, said the Nigerian army was poorly armed and ill-equipped to fight Boko Haram militants.

The report said only a few troops could be seen on the ground in Chibok despite government assurances that there were thousands of troops engaged in the hunt for the missing girls.  

This comes as a host of African countries with the Western backing "declared war" on the extremists at the weekend.

The soldier hinted all was not well within the military camp as troops complained about their living conditions, their salaries and the general lack of support from authorities.  

Lack of progress

Many soldiers complained about not receiving their allowances and being made to wait weeks, sometimes months, for salaries to be paid, the report said.

The soldier said troops were given AK47s to go into the bush to fight the Islamist militants whose weapons were "past [better] than the Nigerian army weapon".

The lack of progress in tracking down the schoolgirls from Chibok has angered the girls' parents who don't believe the Nigerian authorities responded quickly enough.

Meanwhile, The Guardian report said campaigners for the release of the girls planned to march on the office of President Goodluck Jonathan this week to call for him to step down at the next election.  

Activists from the #BringBackOurGirls group said they would present a "charter of demands" to the president, including calls for a more effective presence in militant strongholds and greater engagement with the community of Chibok.
Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  boko haram  |  goodluck jonathan  |  nigeria  |  nigeria kidnappings  |  abductions  |  west africa

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