More than 500 militants from Nigeria have surrendered since July 2016.
The military strategy applied on Boko Haram members that consist of cutting them off from all food and other supplies is paying off as many of them are fleeing from Nigeria to the Lake Chad region in Chad where they have been surrendering to security forces, RFI reports.
Reports say that since July 2016 more than 500 former Boko Haram members have surrendered. The influx has kept on increasing with local authorities in the Lake Chad region stating that many of them are expected in the coming weeks. “They surrendered to our troops on the front line in Lake Chad,” This Day newspaper reported quoting Colonel Mohammad Dole, Chief Military Public Information Officer for the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) headquartered in Chad’s capital N’Djamena. “The surrenders are taking place because of the firepower of our operations.
The groups, many of them armed, have been arriving since September and their number keeps increasing,” he is further quoted as saying. Mr Mohammad disclosed that some 240 fighters, most of whom are Chadians are now being held on detention along their families in Dole.
This Day reported that Chadian military officials are profiling the detainees currently housed at two detention centres in the remote town of Baga Solo, some of whom arrived last week. Based on previous patterns, it is likely that many were abducted or forcibly recruited by Boko Haram . U.N. Resident Coordinator in Chad, Stephen Tull, said a total of around 700 people were being held, including men, women and children. It was unclear how many were fighters.
“They are mostly Chadians and appear to all be more recent recruits,” he reportedly said citing information from a U.N. visit to the centres earlier this month. Philippe Barragne-Bigot, head of the U.N. children’s agency in Chad, said it had set up a centre for the children, who he said should be treated as former hostages.