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Boko Haram Now Driven By ISIL -Ex-US Envoy

Former United States Ambassador To Nigeria Has Disclosed That Leadership Of Terrorist Group, Boko Haram, Is Now Driven By ISIL
Our Reporter
A former ambassador of the United States of America to Nigeria, Amb. Robin Sanders, has told Aljazeera that leadership of Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram, is now largely driven by the Middle East terror group, ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant).
Sanders who spoke exclusively to Aljazeera quoted information available to her from her close contacts in the Libya and Tanzania.
She said: “My understanding from my sources is that the leadership of Boko Haram now – at least in terms of tactical efforts – is really being driven by its connection with ISIL, and some of that information is coming through contacts with those in Libya, those in Tanzania”.
Sanders said Boko Haram has now melted into a guerrilla style warfare likes its counterpart, Al Shabab.
“…And even as far away as Al Shabab in terms of how they do things a little bit differently – moving from this asymmetrical framework to more guerrilla tactics where they’re not holding on to territory but they’re still terrorising individuals”.
Speaking on efforts to setup a multinational joint taskforce to tackle the terrorists, Sanders said the effort may have stalled because of lack of money.
According to her, only Nigeria and France had made financial contributions of $250m to the proposed $700m that would help fund the 8.700 ma force.
Asked of her thoughts about what next government of states affected by Boko Haram could do to fight the renewed tactics, Sanders said: “The main thing that I think has not happened is that the multinational joint taskforce that was supposed to be stood up toward the end of last year – it was announced in July 2015 and it has yet to be stood up.
“It’s supposed to have about 8,700 forces. At the last AU [African Union] summit that happened a couple weeks ago – of the $700M that was pledged to the multi-national force, only $250M has been received, mostly from Nigeria and from France.
“So, financially they don’t have the money to stand up the force and if they had the force they could better share intelligence, they could better plan for long-term.
“And when I say long-term planning I’m talking about two or three years, not something that’s just six months out because groups like Boko Haram have very long-term strategic planning – and the response has to be the same”.
She also noted that “Boko Haram learns very quickly. They’ve moved a little bit from asymmetrical warfare, which the government was actually successfully trying to hinder in December, early January, to these guerrilla attacks that you see happening now – very similar in style to what Al Shabab is doing in East Africa.
“So you do see this transition taking place and I think that the Nigerian army is going to have to adapt”, she said.
Sanders also thinks “that there’s a couple of things that donors as well as Nigeria probably need to think about – it’s really more long-term strategic planning”.
She said “groups like Boko Haram and al-Shabab and others; they have long-range planning. You even see that with ISIL. And certainly the connection now that Boko Haram has with ISIL is something to be concerned about”.

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