No South African military assets deployed in battle against Boko Haram


South Africa has not deployed any military assets to assist the Chadian Defence Force in its pursuit of Boko Haram.

Siphiwe Dlamini, head of communications for the Department of Defence, said the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) was “dismayed and distances itself from reports claiming the SA Air Force (SAAF) has provided air cover to the Chadian Defence Force”.
“The reports are speculative, misleading, baseless and without substance. For the record, the SANDF has not deployed any of its personnel or any of its military assets in that area or region,” he said adding all South African military deployments are “sanctioned and authorised in accordance to (sic) strict procedures guided by our Constitution and government”.

The denial follows a call last week by the UN Security Council for central and west African countries to improve regional military co-ordination to more effectively combat Boko Haram militants in northern Nigeria.

Boko Haram has become the main security threat facing Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy and top oil producer, and increasingly threatens neighbouring countries.

The African Union (AU) has authorised a 7 500 force with troops from Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Benin to fight the Islamist militants.

The Security Council welcomed a meeting held in Cameroon last Thursday where details of the African Union force and its deployment and modus operandi were held. Diplomats have indicated once full details of the force, its composition and rules of engagement are known, the AU is likely to request UN Security Council support for it.

In another development around the ongoing planning and fighting against Boko Haram, France last week sent advisors to the Nigerian border with Niger to help co-ordinate military action by the regional powers which have committed to fighting the Islamist group. Chad has committed 2 500 soldiers to the battle against Boko Haram.

Boko Haram insurgents seek to create an Islamist emirate in northern Nigeria. The group is said to have killed at least 10 000 people last year.