The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai has said that 60% of the Boko Haram insurgents currently terrorising the North East region, particularly around the fringes of Sambisa forest and the Lake Chad Basin were foreigners.
General Buratai disclosed this in Maiduguri when Special Representatives of Secretary General and Head of United Nations Office for West Africa, Mohammed Ibn- Chambas paid him a solidarity visit at the headquarters of Operation Lafiya Dole.
He said this was based on intelligence reports and the fact that many of the repentant insurgents that have recently surrendered themselves were not Nigerians but foreigners.
The COAS said despite the renewed attacks by the insurgents, they will not rest on their oars until they wipe out the remnants of Boko Haram and other miscreants in the region and the country at large.
General Buratai appreciated the visit of Ibn Chambas, stressing that the visit is an indication that the UN is committed to achieving global peace, that is why it has committed a lot of efforts and resources in assisting the north east. He said the Nigerian Army is ready to partner with the UN in restoring peace to the north east.
Earlier, the UN representative, Mohammad Ibn -Chambas said that although it is not the first time he is visiting Borno since the emergence of the humanitarian crisis posed by insurgents, the UN appreciated the zeal and commitment of the military to end the activities of insurgents, stressing that the UN will continue to support troops and other security agencies to ensure that peace is restored in the north east and the country in general.
He said “The UN wants to sympathise with the Nigerian Army over the unfortunate incident that took place recently in Malam Fatori where Lt. Col. Abu Ali, six soldiers as well as other officers and men died and paid the supreme price in the hands of insurgents.
“I want to thank the Chief of Army staff and governor Kashim Shettima for hosting me in Borno, and I urge you (military) not to relent in your gallant efforts to degrade remnants of the insurgents and restore peace in the land,” Ibn Chambas stated.