The Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) has dismissed a video circulating online as Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) propaganda aiming to manipulate public opinion.
The spokesman of the MNJTF, Colonel Timothy Antigha, in a statement on Sunday, said the ISWAP video is being orchestrated online by agents of the extreme group claiming to show troops and equipment allegedly captured in the ongoing conflict in the Lake Chad Area.
Antigha said, “As usual, the ISWAP video is largely make-believe and without any substance, as their claims are substantially debatable, while a few are pieces of information already in the public domain.”
He recalled that in previous press releases, the MNJTF had referenced a couple of ISWAP attacks on troop’s locations in Metele and Baga between December 2018 and January 2019.
He added that in the press releases, the MNJTF had made it known that there were personnel casualties and others ‘Missing in Action.’
He noted that “Other than sheer misinformation and crass propaganda, which are aimed at causing panic and manipulating public opinion, the ISWAP video has not introduced any new dimension into the conflict discourse surrounding the ongoing counter-insurgency operations in the Lake Chad Area.”
He explained that following ISWAP attack on troop’s locations in Baga and surrounding localities between December 2018 and January 2019, the MNJTF launched Operation Yancin Tafki to rescue missing personnel and recover lost equipment.
He said, “A sizeable number of the equipment shown in the video have since been recovered or destroyed,” adding that, Operation Yancin Tafki is progressing steadily to rescuing all MNJTF personnel who were declared Missing in Action.
Antigha said, “the MNJTF, therefore, wishes to assure the good people of the Lake Chad Region that the Force will never leave any personnel behind, as Operation Yancin Tafki continues.”
He noted that despite dubious claims to expansion in the Lake Chad Region, ISWAP’s influence has been curtailed due to relentless pursuits by the MNJTF and national forces.