Monday, March 9, 2015
Military forces from Chad and Niger yesterday engaged Boko Haram militants within the borders of Nigeria. This follows African Union endorsement on Friday of the creation of an 8,000-plus strong regional force to combat the threat posed by the militant group.
Along with Cameroon, both Chad and Niger have previously engaged Boko Haram forces who have crossed their borders from the territory they hold in northern Nigeria. While all three countries have previously aided Nigeria against Boko Haram, the new attacks are Niger's first push into foreign territory.
The new attacks against Boko Haram follow its leader pledging allegiance on Saturday to Islamic State, as other groups have done. A Nigerian military spokesman, speaking to the BBC, dismissed this as a "plea for help"; Nigerian spokesmen cited recent military defeats inflicted upon Boko Haram as the reason for the militants' announcement.
== Sources ==
Madjiasra Nako and Abdoulaye Massalaki. "Chad, Niger launch joint offensive against Boko Haram in Nigeria" — Reuters, March 8, 2015
"Boko Haram conflict: Nigerian allies launch offensive" — BBC News Online, March 8, 2015
AFP. "Niger, Chad attack Boko Haram after IS pledge of allegiance" — Daily Mail, March 8, 2015