Nigeria Brings in Mercenaries in the Fight Against Boko Haram


As security forces in Nigeria have been pushing back against the militant group, Boko Haram, the country has now brought in mercenaries to join in the fight. Hundreds of mercenaries have been hired to help in the Nigeria military campaign. Wielding helicopters, armored cars, and weapons, security forces and mercenaries plan to retake the towns and villages that have been overtaken by Boko Haram.

It has been said that the mercenaries that will be joining forces in Nigeria stem mostly from South Africa, but also from other countries. Their locations have been kept a secret for fear of reprisal, but according to sources, South Africa is playing a big role in the attack against Boko Haram. The militant group which has been very dangerous in dealing with, is now even more dangerous with their recent allegiance to ISIS. After several years of waiting, the Nigerian military is now feeling the pressure with the elections that are suppose to be taking place this month, on March 28. Though the military in Nigeria has had much success against Boko Haram, so far, it is necessary to have back up.

The government of Nigeria gave no clue that the mercenaries were in the area, but one official gave word, as news has been surrounding their plans to defeat Boko Haram. According to sources, the mercenaries had been doing most of their work at night to avoid the people knowing their presence. The government official said that the mercenaries role in fighting in Nigeria was absolutely crucial.

For months Boko Haram has been waging attacks on civilians of Nigeria, burning their villages, shooting and killing thousands, and even capturing thousands. They marry the women off to their militants, they train the kids in the jihadist ways, and wreak havoc on everyone else. Nigerian citizens have been forced to flea for survival. For years the world has had no other option but to watch and wait, leaving many to wonder why plans against Boko Haram were not created much earlier.

But the problem also comes in the speculation of it all. The government of Nigeria has stated that the mercenaries are not actually that, but only technicians who were escorting the equipment that Nigeria bought from Russia, South Africa, and Ukraine. Though they may be trying to hide the fact that they hired mercenaries to join the fight, it was one unknown government official who stated that the men in Nigeria were mercenaries.

The other problem that the government will be facing now is the fact that mercenaries are apparently outlawed in South Africa. According to sources, the country has said that they will arrest any citizens who go to Nigeria and engage in combat. Regardless of the threats made, it is being said that hundreds of mercenaries are fighting anyway. Globe and Mail reported that these mercenaries are being paid around $400 per day.

Though the government in Nigeria is trying hard to hide the fact, if they did in fact hire hundreds of mercenaries to fight against Boko Haram, bringing them in may prove to be the smartest decision yet. Though the military has had much luck, so far, against the militant group, their joining with ISIS could prove to make them even stronger and harder to defeat. Only time will tell if the Nigerian government can defeat Boko Haram, once and for all.

By Crystal Boulware


Globe and Mail
New York Times
Voice of America

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