Tag Archives: africa

#Nigeria Army Is “an immensely disciplined force” (British Soldier) @BBC Documentary (@BBCTheInquiry)


http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/worldservice/inquiry/inquiry_20150127-0700b.mp3

http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/inquiry

Very interesting documentary and interviews with Nigerian soldiers and the National Security Adviser Lt-Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd). Dasuki said:

  • On the fate of Nigerian soldiers sentenced to death for mutiny: “The military law is clear…There could be executions…you know what the punishment is. It is like getting involved in a  military coup”. He likened mutiny to a military coup: failure attracts death.
  • Says quality of some soldiers is poor. Many soldiers joined the army simply to get a job, but without any desire to go to the battlefield.
  • Denied accusations that soldiers are poorly equipped; citing the fact that Boko Haram shows of massive inventories of weapons seized from the army as evidence of how well armed the army is.
  • He admits to issues in weapons procurement from Western countries, and that Nigeria “hit brick walls here and there” when trying to buy weapons from other countries. He said Western countries gave “all sorts of excuses” for not selling weapons to Nigeria.
  • Over time – the military being in government does not go much good. It affects the morale and discipline of the army. The “main pre-occupation of any military administration is self-preservation. Your greatest threat is the military.” Thus their capability to overthrow a sitting military government is reduced if they are not armed to the teeth. Dasuki is well qualified to comment on this issue because he has been a part of multiple military governments and has participated in a military coup.

Colonel James Hall (former British officer who spent last 3 years of his career advising Nigerian military):

  • Said he has never come across a military as disciplined as Nigeria’s: “They are an immensely disciplined force. I don’t think I’ve ever come across an African army that has a clearer says of discipline at all ranks”. Says the discipline of the Nigerian military would challenge that of Western armies. However that discipline can break when subjected to extreme pressure in the battlefield.
  • However there are “massive challenges” facing the Nigerian military. “They have got it badly wrong…things have got worse rather than better”.
  • Their equipment is old, broken, and is frankly not well maintained“. Soldiers are facing Boko Haram fighters who are armed with identical weapons to the soldiers.
  • Communications are poor – commanders often try to communicate with their units using mobile phones (which are unreliable, and often get switched off during military operations).
  • Thinks Nigeria’s military should be given pick-up trucks, APCs, and radios.
  • Training: there was a time when the Nigerian army was “the best trained” and one of the best equipped armies in Sub-Saharan Africa. military takes academic training very seriously but “their tactical training is not as good as they think it is”. Troops need more combat training, e.g. coping in a firefight/combat.

#Nigeria National Security Adviser “Not Very Optimistic” about #Chibok Girls


The Nigerian National Security Adviser (NSA) Lt-Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retired) was spoke at Chatham House in London last week, in much publicised comments. Although Dasuki usually keeps a low profile he spoke frankly about many issues relating to Nigeria’s upcoming elections next month and the security threat posed by Boko Haram. Highlights from the NSA’s talk and answers to questions from the audience:

  • He said that Nigeria will develop a new civil-military relations doctrine; to redefine how the military relates to the public – especially in areas where it conducts counter-insurgency operations. The military needs to move doctrinally from conventional warfare to asymmetric warfare. Nigeria has created a National Counter-Terrorism Center.
  • He admitted that there have been “historical deficits” in the military; including the fact that the last significant weapons procurement for the Nigerian military was over two decades ago.
  • He said his office will present a counter-insurgency narrative to undermine Boko Haram’s credibility and narrative by presenting “the true face of Islam” – counter to the message being presented by Boko Haram.
  • The Nigerian government is open to negotiated solution to the Boko Haram insurgency, should Boko Haram be willing to dialogue.
  • On allegations of sabotage in the army: Dasuki said the army has “a few cowards”.
  • Boko Haram financing: he said Boko Haram obtains financing from bank and market robberies, kidnapping and ransom, and get fuel by staging fuel heists.
  • The Baga attack: Chad and Niger troops withdrew from the military base in Baga, leaving only Nigerian troops there. Dasuki said the way the base was overrun was “not something anyone would be proud of”.
  • Chibok girls: Dasuki thinks they have been dispersed, “some of them have been sold out…that is all we know”. United States officers are still conducting surveillance 24 hours a day. Nigeria has aerial surveillance footage, but he is “very hopeful but not very optimistic”.
  • On the botched ceasefire announcement with Boko Haram: Chad’s President Idriss Deby received two letters purportedly sent to him by Boko Haram leaders who wanted to negotiate a ceasefire. Chad acted as an intermediary between Nigeria and Boko Haram. Dasuki stated his belief that there are “links” between the Chad government and Boko Haram’s leadership.
  • Equipment of Nigerian Soldiers: Dasuki denied allegations that Nigerian soldiers are poorly armed/equipped. He reeled off a list of military equipment that Boko Haram captured from the Nigerian army in Baga, including: 6 armoured personnel carriers (each with at least 4000 rounds of ammunition each), and 4 artillery guns. He said lack of equipment is not the issue, but that there are “a lot cowards” among soldiers and that some of them “do not want to fight”.
  • More than 70-80% of Boko Haram members are of Kanuri ethnicity.

Text of the NSA’s speech: Full text and video of Dasuki’s speech at Chatham House in London – DailyPost Nigeria

http://www.chathamhouse.org/event/nigerias-security-insurgency-elections-and-coordinating-responses-multiple-threats

How Can Boko Haram Be Stopped? My Article in New African Magazine – @NewAfricanMag


 

The Nigerian military has struggled to have any effect in the face of Boko Haram’s intensifying attacks. But with the right combination of military and non-military, short- and long-term strategies, the militants can be stopped, as Max Siollun explains.

http://newafricanmagazine.com/boko-haram-can-defeated/

 

 

#Nigerian Soldier Talks About Facing #BokoHaram


https://soundcloud.com/bbc-world-service/sacked-nigerian-soldier-on-boko-harams-military-strength

BBC interview with a sacked Nigerian soldier. He claimed that he and his colleagues had only 20 rounds of ammunition each, and faced Boko Haram fighters armed with anti-aircraft guns, and machine guns mounted on Toyota Hilux pick-up trucks with generators so they can keep firing. He says he feels embarrassed, cheated, and humiliated by the imbalance of firepower between Boko Haram and Nigerian soldiers.

#Nigeria – #BokoHaram, 2015 Elections and Security Challenges


Video of an event that took place on Tuesday December 9 at Chatham House in London. Zainab Usman and Olly Owen of Oxford University along with Professor Kuna of INEC.

http://bcove.me/36cb21f7

http://bcove.me/3v1nfq14

Slum Survivors: British Mechanics in #Lagos, #Nigeria


Follow three pampered (borderline spoiled in one case) young British kids who are sent to Lagos in Nigeria to work as mechanics in a tough, no-nonsense garage. Watch them try to get to grips with eating local spicey food (including rice and stew, and goat intestine), being offered accommodation in a “face me I face you” and them going to a Lagos beach party.

It was a journey for these young people. My favourite is the Scottish girl who got on with things in her new environment, got to grips, and seemed far tougher than her male counterparts. I also loved the scene where she is inspired after meeting a Nigerian lady that trains young women to be mechanics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Igbhiep-VI

#Nigeria Agrees with #BokoHaram: #Chibok Girls to be Release – #Bringbackourgirls


 

Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff Air Marshal Alex Badeh has announced that Nigeria has agreed a ceasefire with Boko Haram and that Boko Haram will release over 200 schoolgirls it kidnapped over 6 months ago.

Badeh said:

“A ceasefire agreement has been concluded between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad (Boko Haram).”

“I have accordingly directed the service chiefs to ensure immediate compliance with this development in the field.”

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/nigeria/11169959/Nigerias-missing-schoolgirls-to-be-released-after-ceasefire-deal.html

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-29665165

 

Separately, Hassan Tukur, a presidential aid, told AFP an agreement to release the schoolgirls and end hostilities had been reached following two meetings with the militants.

The negotiations took place in neighbouring Chad, mediated by that country’s President Idriss Deby, he said. “Boko Haram issued the ceasefire as a result of the discussions we have been having with them,” said Mr Tukur. “They have agreed to release the Chibok girls”.

Emir Sanusi: Northern #Nigeria Needs Economic “Marshall Plan”


Interview with the new Emir of Kano Muhammed Sanusi II (AKA Sanusi Lamido Sanusi) about the Boko Haram insurgency in northern Nigeria.

Key points made by Sanusi:

  • Islam “preaches education for all adherents”.
  • Marrying young Muslim girls off at a young age is actually a cultural (not Islamic) practice “that is not consistent with the teachings of the (Muslim) religion)”.
  • Poverty level in northern Nigeria provides a fertile breeding ground for militancy. Says the same thing happened in the Niger Delta.
  • Boko Haram insurgency must be tackled via an economic “Marshall Plan” for northern Nigeria.
  • Says insurgency calmed down in Kano because of investment in infrastructure there.
  • “As long as people are gainfully employed they are not likely to jump into the bandwagon of insurgency”.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29221283

The Former Prison in #Nigeria Turned into an Artistic Site


Great feature on Freedom Park in Lagos, which used to be a prison in Nigeria’s colonial days, and housed famous prisoners such as Obafemi Awolowo.

https://soundcloud.com/bbc-world-service/newsday-where-once-the-british-executed-today-nigeria-commemorates-100-years

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-28418685

https://soundcloud.com/bbc-world-service/newsday-where-once-the-british-executed-today-nigeria-commemorates-100-years

#Brazil’s African Heritage


http://www.bbc.com/news/world-28151812

Nice features by the BBC on African/Nigerian food being cooked and served by locals in Salvador, Brazil. Amazing how much African influence there is in Brazil (including worship of Yoruba gods).

Brazil is actually home to the world’s second largest black population and some of the black population still maintain strong roots with their African heritage.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-27824918

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