In suspected protest against U.S. ban, Chad withdraws troops fighting Boko Haram

Chadian troops
Chadian troops

Chad has withdrawn hundreds of troops from neighbouring Niger, where they were helping local forces fight Boko Haram Islamist militants, humanitarian sources and officials said.

The pull-out over the past two weeks could weaken a region-wide struggle against the militants who have killed tens of thousands of people, forced many more to flee and triggered a humanitarian crisis.

There was no immediate explanation or comment from defense officials in Chad.

The move came a month after the vast central African country complained about an unexpected U.S. travel ban imposed on its nationals.

Chad warned at the time the order could affect its security commitments, which include its involvement in the U.S.-backed fight against Boko Haram.

Residents said the withdrawal had already had an impact on Niger’s Diffa region, which has seen a string of attacks by Boko Haram militants crossing over from their base in neighbouring Nigeria.

Ibrahim Arimi from the border village of Bosso said banditry has increased since the Chadian troops started leaving and he had been temporarily moved to another village for safety.

Diffa parliamentarian Lamido Moumouni said residents had started complaining.

“They have come to rely on the forces so there is a perception that security will be lacking,” he said by telephone.

At its peak in 2016 after an attack in Bosso, Chad had 2,000 troops in Niger to help counter Boko Haram although security sources said this has fallen since.

Boko Haram has attacked Chad, Niger and Cameroon from its base in northeast Nigeria.

Its eight-year bid to carve out an Islamist caliphate has driven millions from their homes, no fewer than 200,000 of them are now based in Diffa, with little prospect of returning home.

Thousands of them are camped alongside an unfinished highway in the middle of a barren savannah with few resources.

Chad’s soldiers also occupy front-line positions in a peacekeeping force in northern Mali.

Analysts say falling oil revenues after the price crash in 2014 has also sapped Chad’s appetite for expensive regional security commitments. (Reuters/NAN)


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  • thusspokez

    The move came a month after the vast central African country complained about an unexpected U.S. travel ban imposed on its nationals.

    I don’t get the logic. Boko haram attacks and kills Chadians too; and there is not news report of the group targeting USA. So why is fighting against a group that kills your own people being seen as doing the USA a favour?

    • VERITAS_ the rock of ages_

      Good point.

      • Uzoma

        I think it’s just a matter of people fighting with the only leverage they have or think they have.

  • Rev

    Chadian soldiers have massive experience fighting these kinds of wars…They have been fighting it for years since the days of Habre. So their absences will be felt. Especially with the inept corrupt Nigerian soldiers basically compromised from the top to bottom.

    • AFRICANER

      Only God can tell the difference between Boko Haram and Chad soldiers.

      United States does things by extreme intelligence. There must be a good reason why Chad is regarded as terrorists. And what’s perplexing is how can you tell their difference with Northern Nigeria?

      • Uzoma

        You think the United States still acts based on intelligence? Even with Trump at the helm?

        • AFRICANER

          Yes I do.

          • FineBoy

            The one provided by Russia or North Korea?

        • 0tile

          What is the Nigerian corrupt government fighting in the first place?

      • rhad

        There is no difference between US and any terrorists – al-qeada, islamic maghreb, Boko haram etc and with trump (yes i use small letter T) that talks before he thinks it just got worse. With the extreme intelligence Russia can access their system during election, ransome wares thrive. Extreme intelligence tells US that if a Muslim commits an offense he is a terrorist but if Christian or new or others they have brain problem. Nonsense. Las Vegas shooting killing 50 and injuring 400, Andre bevriek kill 70 in Norway their brain have to be tested. Extreme intelligence does not tell US a terrorists act transcends religion, race or ethnic.

        • AFRICANER

          Thank you, that’s what I want, the US to be your Enemy, and our friend.

    • GusO

      Yes, Chadian soldiers are very well trained to fight Savannah and desert based insurgencies and well led. They are not corrupted like our officers who pocketed the money budgeted to equip our army with modern armaments. They’re better than French soldiers in the desert environment who have engaged their services to fight Al Qaeda of the Maghreb in the Atlas Mountains on the border of Northern Mali with Algeria. Too bad Niger is suffering from geopolitical decisions.