OVERVIEW OF THE MONTH
In the month under review, there have been several sophisticated and coordinated assaults perpetrated by insurgent sects across the West African Lake Chad region as well as the Sahel region. This is evidence of the continued danger of insurgents to the security and stability of communities within the region. A high profile example was the attack in Rann – a town in Borno state in the Northeast of Nigeria, which caused Médecins San Frontières (Doctors without Borders) to suspend its medical operations and evacuate 22 of its staff (national/international). Also, the government in Nigeria negotiated for the release of hostages, as well as for ceasefires.
March also witnessed attacks on the Burkina Faso Military headquarters and French embassy respectively.
The Cameroon military has embarked on a sensitisation program informing its citizens on Boko Haram insurgents’ new tactics: using women and children hiding under businesses to transport food and explosives to its neighbouring country Nigeria.
Canada has announced its intention to join the on-going Multinational Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). This will be the first time Canada has sent troops to West Africa.
3.0 KEY DEVELOPMENTS
French forces lead at least one raid in the region around the Algerian border near Tinzaouatene. At least ten deaths and the destruction of 2 vehicles were recorded. This offensive operation was part of France’s Operation Barkhane, which is part of an on-going anti-insurgent operation that spans the five countries that form the G5 Sahel group.
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