Insurgency in Burkina Faso: Expert Appraises Nigeria’s counter-terrorism operations
By Abdulsalam Mahmud
An international expert in Counter terrorism and insurgency, Mr David Otto, of the Global Risk Management International of the United Kingdom, has bared his expert opinion on the state of security challenges in Burkina Faso. Mr Otto bared his mind during an interview with Aljazeera television which attracted the interest of this writer.
In the interview, David Otto was talking about the precarious security situation in Burkina Faso occasioned by the activities of terrorists in that country.
Though Nigeria is not the only African country battling insecurity, yet the country has done a lot, and still doing tremendously well in the aspect of fighting insurgents and eliminating ISWAP/Boko Haram terrorism.
Speaking as a guest of Al-Jazeera, Mr. David Otto advised the Government of Burkina Faso to adopt the strategies effectively deployed by Nigerian Army to degrade Boko Haram terrorists, in order to tackle rampaging jihadists that are trooping into the west African nation (Burkina Faso).
His words: “Nigeria had a similar situation when jihadists occupied the northern part of the country. But from 2015 with General Tukur Buratai, they made a lot of gains.
“They have checkmated the activities of the jihadists. So, I think Burkina Faso should learn from the experience of Nigeria, the country can learn from Nigeria’s counter insurgency/terrorism efforts” .
“This is because Burkina Faso is really been run down by the jihadists, and the government seemed not to have answer to that, and the French Government is actually not helping as it should have done.”
A non-partisan statement such as this from a renown international security expert, means a lot. It also tells a lot about how the war against insurgency in Nigeria is being prosecuted by the Nigerian Army and other security agencies for some times now.
Among other things, this dispassionate assertion shows that the government in concert with the Nigerian Army and other agencies has done well in prosecuting the war against insurgency and terrorism in Nigeria.
Indeed, Otto’s avowal shows that despite the challenges, Nigeria had done a lot in the area of fighting insurgents, and it behoves on his home country, and other sister African nations to tap from Nigeria’s rich counter terrorism efforts or strategy.
The security expert’s viewpoint may have definitely given a credibility mark to the various military operations launched in the North East to fight insurgents, but it is by implication urging the military hierarchy and perhaps, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Buratai to sustain the tempo of Counter terrorism Operation. He should not rest on his oars till his troops conquer the dreaded terrorists who have been holding the entire nation and North East, in particular, to ransom.
His dynamism and foresight in the introduction of Super Camp and rapid response areas which allow for concentration of forces, equipment and robust force projection into the terrorists’ enclaves is very much useful afterall. The mobility, agility and element of surprise against the enemy inherent in the Super Camp strategy have already become a game changer in the fight against insurgency in Nigeria.
And just like I stated ab initio, the fight against Boko Haram is not yet a forgone conclusion, but certainly, it is one battle that will definitely be won, via the gallantry of Nigerian Army troops, other security agencies and a whole of government approach.
The comments from David Otto among others is a good example of the common adage that says – “a hero is not celebrated at his home”.
Mahmud is a Staff Writer with PR Nigeria.