25 December 2016 Sunday
Nigeria Sunday will reopen at least two major roads in the country’s northeast previously closed due to repeated attacks by Boko Haram militants, the government announced.
Information Minister Lai Mohammed Mohammed said the Maiduguri-Gubio-Damasak and the Maiduguri-Mungono-Baga roads, both strategically important for international trade among Lake Chad nations, would be reopened at a ceremony attended by top government and military officials.
The reopening follows Saturday’s announcement that the army has finally dislodged Boko Haram from the vast Sambisa forest, including the so-called “camp zero” known as the militants’ stronghold.
President Muhammadu Buhari had announced the victory in a statement, claiming it marked the final defeat for Boko Haram.
Mohammed said the reopening ceremony will be witnessed by military chiefs, followed by a lunch with the troops who crushed the insurgency.
Most analysts welcomed the announcement of Boko Haram’s “final defeat” with cautious optimism, warning that security forces letting down their guard could lead militants to exploit this and launch costly attacks on civilians.
Nigeria’s December 2015 announcement of a so-called technical defeat of Boko Haram was followed by rising militant attacks and suicide bombings.
Ambushes on military targets have claimed the lives of dozens of soldiers, including three lieutenant-colonels, although the group’s ability to launch physical attacks is thought to have waned considerably.
Source: World Bulletin.