The commander of multinational troops fighting Boko Haram has said at least 3,600 of the militants have surrendered since August. Nigeria-born Major General Abdul Khalifa Ibrahim spoke Sunday at the end of a visit to Cameroon.
General Ibrahim, commander of the four-nation Multinational Joint Task Force Commission, or MNJTF, says the number of militants escaping from Boko Haram is increasing by the day.
"I can tell you authoritatively from the beginning of August, about 3,000 Boko Haram members have surrendered. This is just within the Multinational Joint Task Force in Cameroon and in Nigeria,” he said.
He says it is suspected that an additional 600 militants who surrendered within the past two months to the Joint Task Force are former Boko Haram fighters.
Several thousand other defections were reported in May, when infighting broke out among Boko Haram factions after Boko Haram leader Aboubakar Shekau was declared dead.
MNJTF, headquartered in Chad's capital N'djamena, is made up of more than 10,000 troops from Niger, Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria. Ibrahim says that since August, his forces have launched “ceaseless” raids on Boko Haram camps in the Sambisa forest and the Lake Chad Basin, causing confusion among militants.
The jihadists have not responded to claims that many militants are defecting. Boko Haram usually uses social media platforms to dismiss such claims.
Source: Voice of America