Nigeria announces “massive” military campaign around border areas

Africa - News and Analysis

BBC

Troops patrol the streets of restive north-eastern Nigerian town of Maiduguri, Borno State, on 30 April 2013Troops are already present in large numbers in Nigeria’s north-east

 

Nigeria has announced a “massive deployment of men and resources” to combat Islamist militants in the country’s border territories.

A statement said the drive was aimed at “asserting the nation’s territorial integrity” and “enhancing security”.

On Tuesday President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in three north-eastern states after a series of deadly attacks by militant groups.

Fighters from the Boko Haram group are blamed for most of the violence.

The group, which has its roots in north-eastern Nigeria, is linked to bloodshed in which some 2,000 people have died since 2010.

Nigeria – a multi-ethnic nation of more than 160 million people – is also affected by a spate of conflicts over land, religion and oil.

‘Embarrassing’ admission

Wednesday’s Ministry of Defence statement said the army, police and other security agencies had begun operations to “rid…

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