Chadian troops deployed in Nigeria have been withdrawn by their country, reports said on Saturday.
About 1,200 troops from the neighbouring Chad were deployed to give combat support to Nigerian soldiers fighting Boko Haram in 2019. The deployment was part of a regional agreement by countries around the Lake Chad to combat insurgency, which surpassed 10 years in mid-2019.
“It’s our troops who went to aid Nigerian soldiers months ago returning home. They have finished their mission,” French newswire, AFP, cited a Chadian military spokesperson as saying Saturday. “None of our soldiers remains in Nigeria.”
The withdrawn troops would be returned to their previous outposts around the Lake Chad to further strengthen security around the border areas, AFP reported citing Azem Bermandoa, a Chadian army colonel.
The newswire said Tahir Erda Tahiro, head of Chadian military, indicated that troops would be deployed if the countries agreed to a new joint measure for deployment. Niger, Chad, Nigeria and Cameroon have been waging a collective battle against Boko Haram, which began in Nigeria in July 2019 and has continued to defy military response.
The group has continued to claim successful attacks, but its ability to attack military bases appeared to have waned in recent months. The Nigerian Army, on the other hand, has continued to credit troops for successive victories against the insurgents in recent weeks.
The extent to which the pull out could affect the counter-terrorism effort was not immediately clear. A spokesperson for the Nigerian Army did not return calls seeking comments Sunday morning.