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Over a Year Since Declaring End of Boko Haram, Nigeria Fends Off Reports of Resurgence

The Nigerian military reportedly insists there is no resurgence of Boko Haram terrorist activities in northeastern Nigeria, considered the group’s stronghold and birthplace.

Northeastern Nigeria’s vast Sambisa Forest, which covers parts of the states of Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Bauchi, and Kano, has been identified as Boko Haram’s last stronghold in the country.

“The general public has a feeling which I have been made to understand that there seems to be, like, there is [a] resurgence of the Boko Haram activities in the North East, particularly in Borno State,” declared Nigerian Maj. Gen. John Enenche, a top military spokesman, according to NAIJ.

“Let me also remind you that Boko Haram groups, I called them groups because it is not one. They vary in their characteristics and behavior,” he continued. “They are not professionals. They do not know what we armed forces of Nigeria know.”

Borno State’s capital city of Maiduguri is known as the birthplace of Boko Haram, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).

On various occasions, the Nigerian government has falsely claimed to have vanquished the jihadist group.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari alleged last December that his country’s military pushed the group out of its “last enclave” in the Sambisa forest.

Gen. Enenche claimed that Boko Haram threats in northeastern Nigeria “have been drastically reduced,” noting that the country’s military had adopted new tactics “to clear the remnants of the insurgents,” reports NAIJ.

“It is not that we have become docile or dormant, no,” he proclaimed. “The apprehension from the public is becoming much from the dossier I get, but I am assuring them that the new tactics adopted by the military in eliminating the terrorists is working.”

However, the Nigerian military announced on Thursday that it had killed at least 15 gunmen in the Sambisa forest believed to be members of Boko Haram.

The Associated Press (AP) reports:

Spokesman Kinsley Samuel says in a statement that the fighting occurred Thursday morning when the extremists attacked a base in the Sambisa forest in northern Nigeria

The forest had been a Boko Haram stronghold until the government declared the group “crushed” late last year.

Despite the government’s claim that it has cleared the forest of Boko Haram, the jihadists continue to carry out attacks, primarily suicide bombings, in northern Nigeria and the Lake Chad region, targeting Nigerian troops at times.

Besides Nigeria, Boko Haram also wreaks havoc in neighboring Cameroon, Niger, and Chad.

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