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South African soldiers aiding Nigerian troops in N/East

Daily Trust gathered yesterday that the troops are in Nigeria as specialists and technical experts training and aiding Nigeria troops in the protracted fight against…

Daily Trust gathered yesterday that the troops are in Nigeria as specialists and technical experts training and aiding Nigeria troops in the protracted fight against the terrorists.
South African news website City Press yesterday quoted another report that said about 100 South African ex-military are in Nigeria on the request of the Nigerian government to help fight Boko Haram.
“About 100 soldiers have gone to Nigeria – at that government’s request – to help train soldiers to hit back at the terrorist group which has claimed responsibility for attacks in which thousands of people have died over the past few years,” the report said.
The story further said that: “A member of the South African team said they weren’t mercenaries, but helped with training to skill Nigerian soldiers.
“The first goal would be to stop the terrorists’ bloody raids, and also to free the remainder of the 200 Chibok girls that were kidnapped by Boko Haram last year,” City Press quoted.
Daily Trust also gathered yesterday that the foreign experts are part of efforts to improve Nigeria’s military capacity to curb the problem of insurgency.
A security source maintained that the Nigerian government will continue to pursue all available avenues to end the insurgency.
However, South African Minister for International Relations and Co-operation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, yesterday was said to have told journalists ahead of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that she is dismayed by the development.
“We always discourage South Africans to enter the fray in a situation like that,” she told journalists in Addis Ababa, ahead of the African Union summit there, City Press reported.
When contacted yesterday, the Nigeria Defence spokesman Major General Chris Olukolade said, “It is well known that terrorism being an international and trans/cross border menace calls for the involvement of all well meaning countries all over the world.”
He added that: “In this case I’m only aware of partner countries whose activities have been mainly in the form exchange of ideas and support to ongoing training activities.”
Olukolade also said: “The conduct of Nigeria’s counter terrorism campaign remains exclusively an all Nigerian troops affairs. This is the much I know and can discuss.”

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