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Military speaks on Niger Republic ‘exit’ from joint operation

The military high command has said troops from the Republic of Niger are still part of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) decimating the activities…

The military high command has said troops from the Republic of Niger are still part of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) decimating the activities of terrorists on Lake Chad Basin and other border regions.

Daily Trust had in its Sunday edition exclusively reported that the war against terrorism in the Lake Chad Basin might be experiencing a setback following the withdrawal of Niger Republic troops from MNJTF.

The MNJTF comprises the Lake Chad countries of Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger as well as Benin Republic.

In the publication, findings revealed that the withdrawal had led to renewed attacks by terrorists especially on the Internally Displaced Persons’ camps –  the development critical stakeholders described as “worrisome”.

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But reacting to the exclusive story on Sunday, the Director, Defence Media Operations, Edward Buba, maintained that Niger Republic had not pulled out, adding that there was no vacuum at MNJTF headquarters located in Chad.

Buba, a Major-General in the Nigerian Army, explained that Niger Republic is the one responsible for Sector 4 of the MNJTF that is located in Diffa.

He, however, admitted that due to the crisis of the coup and the attendant issues surrounding it, the communications channel between the Sector and HQ MNJTF had not been perfect.

“Kindly be informed that Niger Republic has not pulled out of the MNJTF and therefore, there is no vacuum. Indeed, there are Niger personnel serving at HQ MNJTF.

“Note that, Niger is responsible for Sector 4 of the MNJTF that is located in Diffa. However, due to the crisis of the coup and the attendant issues surrounding it, the communication channel between the Sector and HQ MNJTF has been less than perfect. This is obviously, due to the political situation,” Buba told Daily Trust on Sunday afternoon in response to our correspondent’s earlier inquiry.

The senior military officer, however, noted that the Defence Headquarters was hoping that things would improve as tension continued to calm down.

“It is hoped that things will improve as tension calms down. This is for your update, please,” the military spokesman added.

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