PRETORIA. — Former South African Defence Force soldiers will reportedly form the core of a multinational team of private military experts, who are en route to Nigeria, to help the country fight against Boko Haram militants.
Netwerk24 reported yesterday that the 100-strong team has been tasked with training the Nigerian military in a massive campaign against the terrorist organisation.
This comes as more than 200 combatants were killed over the weekend as the Nigerian military battled Boko Haram militants who attacked Maiduguri in northern Nigeria.
A Nigerian presidential security adviser recently stated that Nigeria’s campaign against Boko Haram is being hampered by “cowards” within the armed forces, signalling dissatisfaction with how the military is handling the situation.
According to the Netwerk24 report, Boko Haram leaders and fighters will be targeted.
The team will attempt to thwart Boko Haram’s bloody raids and try to free the remaining kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls.
More than 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haram last year.
The leader of the team told Netwerk24 that they are not mercenaries, but have a government contract to assist the Nigerian military with training. The team involves South Africans who gained experience during the border wars, as well as Britons, Indians and other nationalities.
The African Union is reportedly considering military intervention as a regional multinational force including Niger, Chad and Cameroon fight against Boko Haram.
An earlier report revealed that a team of South Africans were involved in training Nigerian soldiers, and the Nigerian government had asked for additional training.
A military expert earlier in January warned that South Africa would be under threat if SA soldiers joined AU forces in fighting against Boko Haram. — News24.