Author Topic: Nigeria ?hires mercenaries? to battle Boko Haram to meet Buhari's deadline  (Read 107 times)

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Nigeria has hired mercenaries to combat Boko Haram as military chiefs face a December deadline to crush the militants, according to senior military sources.

Turkish news agency, Anadolu Agency, reports that the mercenaries, estimated at around 250 personnel and hired from South Africa-based private contractor Specialized Tasks, Training, Equipment and Protection (STTEP), are being deployed along with fighter jets in Operation Fire Force, a source at Nigeria?s defense headquarters said on condition of anonymity.



?The mercenaries have been reengaged and their platforms are being deployed,? the source said. ?By platforms, I mean fighter jets, helos [helicopters], coms [communication], surveillance, medics, etc.?

STTEP includes veterans from the South African apartheid era who will work with and train a Nigerian strike force, according to the source.

Another army source confirmed the development to Anadolu Agency. ?There is definitely something happening in that direction,? the source said, again on condition of anonymity.

According to STTEP?s official website, the company?s trainers and advisers are drawn from ?conventional, clandestine, and covert units of the pre-1994 South African Defense Force?.

It claims to have a proven track record of success in Africa, the Middle East, the Far East and Central and South America.

Describing the use of mercenaries to fight militants as ?shameful? during the March 2015 election campaign, Nigeria?s President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the practice. Buhari, a retired general, said the practice represented the depth of weakness of the Nigerian army.

Asked why the Buhari administration is again deploying mercenaries, the defense HQ source said it appeared to be the most practical option if headway was to be made against militants whose guerilla tactics are new to the Nigerian military.

Nigeria claimed significant success against the militants in the run-up to the March election, with some analysts crediting the mercenaries.



 

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