Few days ago it was in the news that Nigerian army have stormed Sambisa forest,the last of Boko Haram stronghold remaining. Some few hours ago, there were rumours that this same military has chicken out of the forest because of booby-traps (land mines) planted all over the place in the forest. However, Reuters, a foreign news media reports that the Nigerian military is denying that they have left Sambisa forest. According to Reuters, “Nigeria’s military said on Thursday it was still advancing in Islamist group Boko Haram’s last known stronghold, dismissing reports that land mines had forced them to retreat.”
Defence spokesman, Major General Chris Olukolade spoke through the phone saying, “It’s not true that our troops are retreating, in fact we are still marching forward in Sambisa. Our troops are still in there.”
“Three of our boys were killed by a landmine as we progressed into Sambisa. We’ve suspended going farther,” Muhammad Mungonu, a vigilante, told Reuters.
A Chadian military source said a joint military operation involving forces from Niger and Cameroon was expected to begin to encircle the Sambisa forest next week. Chadian troops will go in from the Cameroonian border, where they have been massing.
I don’t really know what to make out of this confusing information, but I seem to believe the information from the Nigerian military more. Though some people might have gone back (the vigilante boys wounded), being taken by some troops back due to injury sustained from the land mine, I would think the majority of the troops would still be advancing into the dreaded forest. Hopefully this is the case. They must finish the job they started and so far is going on well. They can’t afford to give up at this moment. They must do a clean job, not giving any breathing space to Boko Haram. That will be dangerous. They have the tendency of regrowth if allowed to breath. Their coming back may be more deadly.