US Damns Nigerian Military: It Lacks Capacity to Hold Captured Territories

Chief of Army staff, Tukur Buratai (middle)

In a damning report, the United States’ Bureau of Counter-terrorism has knocked the claims of the federal government’s that the military had defeated the Boko Haram terrorists and was busy rehabilitating displaced persons in the North-east.

In its 2016 Country Reports on Terrorism, the Bureau stated that the Nigerian military lacks the ability to hold and rebuild civilian structures and institutions in the troubled North East.

Though the report was authored in 2016, it was released only on July 19, 2017.

Part of the report reads: “Despite gains made by the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), much of its reported progress was merely duplication of failed efforts carried over from the end of last dry/fighting season.

“The Nigerian military was unable to hold and rebuild civilian structures and institutions in those areas it had cleared.”

On the return of Internally Displaced People back to their original places of abode, the report states: “The Nigerian government continued to facilitate the return of internally displaced persons to their home communities, although sometimes without providing adequate security and before appropriate conditions were in place for safe, informed, voluntary returns.”

It also knocked the lack of synergy between the various security agencies in the country.

“The level of interagency cooperation and information sharing was limited and at times hindered overall effectiveness.

“The Department of State Security (DSS) is the primary investigating agency for terrorism cases, but there have been longstanding sustained concerns about its capacity to investigate terrorist financing as it does not share case information with other agencies that also have the mandate to conduct terrorist financing investigations and prosecutions, such as the EFCC.

“These concerns continued in 2016. There were no known efforts on the part of the EFCC or the Ministry of Justice to prosecute terrorist financing cases.

“The Government of Nigeria has the ability to freeze and confiscate terrorist assets as required by the UN Security Council (UNSC) ISIL (Da’esh) and al-Qa’ida sanctions regime. While there is a political will to freeze assets, bureaucratic processes occasionally cause delays.”

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