The Nigerian Army has extended the timeline and area of responsibility of its operation Sahel Sanity against Armed groups terrorising communities and commuters in Northwest Nigeria.
The operation which started in July 2020 was expected to be completed in September. However, a new directive extends the operation to December and widens the scope to the Northcentral part of the country.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai disclosed the new development during a press conference at the Army Supper Camp 4, Faskari, Katsina, on Saturday.
Buratai also spoke about challenges faced by troops involved in the operation, such as inaccessibility exacerbated by rainfall to some of the flashpoints as the main reasons the crisis remains intractable. The Army chief, however, stated that solutions to the problems had been proffered.
The Army chief also urged communities to support the troops with information.
“Criminals are within the very people seeking protection, and they have cousins, sisters, brothers and other relatives because they are not falling from the skies.
“The sooner people stop shielding these criminals, the better we get all the security challenges in our societies resolved.
“Notwithstanding, we have improved in the art of our intelligence gathering, and people are becoming more supportive. That is why we were able to make dozens of arrests of the suspected criminals”.
Operations Sahel Sanity and Defence headquarters led operations Hadarin Daji continue to target armed groups in the Northwest to end the violence and restore peace.
The violence in the region has displaced over 160,000 people while causing about 41,000 more to flee to Maradi in the neighbouring Niger Republic.