Boko Haram: Nigeria Soldiers mutiny, push for better equipment

By IAfrica
In Nigeria
Aug 19th, 2014
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download (6)A group of soldiers in north-eastern Nigeria is refusing to fight the Islamist Boko Haram militants until they receive better equipment, one of the soldiers has told the BBC.

The soldier, who requested anonymity, said that at least, 40 of his colleagues would decline if ordered to go after the insurgents.

The military has however not commented on the reported mutiny or the demands.

A state of emergency that was declared in three north-eastern states last year has failed to curtail the insurgency.

Boko Haram sect is fighting to create an Islamic state in Nigeria – and has increased its attacks after being pushed out of its bases in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, targeting towns and villages in deadly attacks.

“Soldiers are dying like fowl,” said the soldier, who told the BBC Hausa Service that he and his colleagues were just outside Maiduguri.

“The Nigerian army is not ready to fight Boko Haram,” he said, explaining that soldiers were not properly equipped with enough weapons and ammunition to take them on.

“Boko Haram are inside the bush, everywhere,” he said “They [senior commanders] are sacrificing soldiers,” he added

He disclosed that even the vehicles the soldiers were expected to use were old armoured cars that were not up to the job.

A General in the army, who requested anonymity, told the BBC that he was unable to confirm the mutiny, but said “cowardice” was not uncommon in times of war – and any mutineer would be reprimanded.

When the soldier was asked if he feared being court-martialled for taking part in the mutiny, he said that a soldier could only be taken to task for refusing to go to war.

“I joined the army to defend my country”, but you cannot defend it without being well equipped to do so,” he said.

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