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Boko Haram Defeated, Chibok Girls’ Rescue is Underway – Chief of Army Staff, Buratai

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Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai says the military has entered mop up phase in the fight against Boko Haram that would facilitate the release of captives, including Chibok girls. He revealed this during a meeting with Borno Elders Forum as part of measures adopted to consolidate on the gains recorded in the counter-insurgency operation.

Speaking at the meeting which was held at the Military Command and Control Centre in Maiduguri, Buratai said:

“We were given three major tasks, and we have made efforts toward achieving two. The first task is to defeat Boko Haram, and I want to tell you that as at today Boko Haram has been defeated.

“When I say defeat, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there won’t be hitches here and there. We have entered the mop-up stage of our operation,” he said.

He explained that the mop up phase would facilitate the release of those held captive by the insurgents, including the Chibok girls.

According to Buratai, the second part of the first task is to rescue those who are held hostage at some marked locations by the insurgents.

The army chief also noted that the second major task in the military’s north-east operation was to facilitate the restoration of normalcy in affected areas and provision of relief materials to displaced persons, adding that the military had aided civil authorities in the return of displaced persons from Bama, Gwoza and other communities.

“The second task is to support the civil authorities in caring and protecting the Internally Displaced Persons and to help the civil authorities in restoring normalcy and rebuilding those areas that have been liberated.

“It has already commenced in places like Bama, Gamboru Ngala, Baga, Mongonu and most of those areas are deserted because they are afraid that they could be attacked. So, we will embark on confidence building to encourage them to come back by assisting the civil authorities,” he said.

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