‘Foreign mercenaries’ are military instructors – Nigeria

Foreign mercenaries fighting alongside Nigerian army in Maiduguri

The Nigerian Army on Wednesday attempted to clear the air, yet again, on the involvement of foreigners in the ongoing war against insurgency, saying they were not mercenaries.

Hundreds of foreign mercenaries had allegedly been brought into the country to boost the war against terrorism.

But speaking at the monthly briefing by the army, Sani Usman, a Colonel, said that the foreigners were instructors conducting “in-theatre trainings”.

“In its bid to continually increase capacity, the Nigerian Army has continued to acquire new equipment to prosecute the ongoing campaign against the Boko Haram terrorists and other criminal elements,” Mr. Usman, Acting Director of Army Public Relations, said on Wednesday.     

“Troops are now being trained locally and overseas in the handling of this equipment and to increase capacity. In some cases, these training have been conducted in-theatre by foreign instructors. 

“I believe this is what has given rise to the false report about mercenaries in the North East.

Mr. Usman said that pre–induction training of troops in some selected military training institutions is ongoing after which troops will be deployed to the theatre of operations.

“In addition, seminars and workshops on modern operations planning for officers and soldiers at Division and Brigade levels as well as subscription on courses particularly on Improvised Explosive Devices and Counter Terrorism training are ongoing,” he said.  

“All these are geared towards ensuring that troops are efficient and effective in discharging their assigned roles in furtherance of NA’s fulfilment of its constitutional mandate.”
Mr. Usman attributed the recent successes recorded by the army against the insurgents to the troops’ discipline, patriotism and professionalism.  

“In this regard, I wish to inform you that our troops have in the last couple of weeks recaptured several towns and localities previously under siege of Boko Haram Terrorists in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States,” said Mr. Usman.  

“This current effort has progressively pre-empted, dislocated and disrupted the terrorists’ activities thereby denying them freedom of action and degrading their capacity to cause mayhem in vulnerable communities.  

“The Nigerian Army has sworn that never again will it allow any group of terrorists’ covet an inch of the nation’s territory.”

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