By Sheriff Badmus
The Republic of Chad is a land-locked country in north-central Africa with a population of 13million plus. A report from International Crises group in 2017 revealed that since 2015, attacks in Chad by the Boko Haram extremist group have killed hundreds, displaced more than 100,000, yielded 7,000 refugees and damaged the regional economy of the Lake Chad basin. “The violence peaked in the capital and in the Lake region, and has since declined.”
However, after series of well-managed battles with Boko Haram, the Chadian Army in an overnight ambush attack on 22 March in Boma lost 92 of her soldiers and 50 civilians were wounded.
“We lost 92 of our soldiers, non-commissioned officers and officers.” said Idriss Deby, the country’s president. The attack on Boma was reported to have lasted at least seven hours with up to 24 army vehicles destroyed and weapons carted away.
Operation Boma’s Wrath Started
Speaking on the nation’s national television, Chad’s Defense Minister, Mahamat Abali Salah, on 31 March 2020, declared the operation Boma’s Wrath in response to the terror unleashed by Boko Haram. The purpose of the operation is “to clear the area around Lake Chad from terror,” he said. He also added that troops will be sent to Nigeria and Niger to clear the Islands on the lake.
The Heroics of a President
Leading the army, President Idriss Deby travelled to Boma to announce the operation. “We launched the ‘Wrath of Bomo’ operation. We must defeat terrorism to allow our people and especially those of Lake Chad to live in peace. This is the whole meaning of the fight that our valiant soldiers are waging against Boko Haram,” Deby wrote in a tweet.
Boko Haram Suffers Huge Blows
The offensive according to reports took place at Kelkoua bank and Magumeri where Chadian army destroyed several Boko Haram bunkers, recovered arms and arrested a top Boko Haram commander, Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the insurgent group who was featured in a clip urging his fighters not to run away.
Echoes of Victory
“I went down this morning to Kaiga-Kindjinria. No element of Boko Haram is present in the islands of Lake Chad. Congratulations to our Defense and Security Forces who have cleaned up the entire island area,” President Deby declared again on Twitter.
After deciding to shut its boarders and air operations in mid-March, Chad currently has a record of 10 coronavirus cases, 2 recoveries and no deaths. This obviously, is a lesser concern to Chad at the moment.