Nigeria imposes horse ban to stop Boko Haram attacks
Iran Press TV
Sep 8, 2015 6:9PM
Nigeria’s military has banned the use of horses to stop deadly raids by the Takfiri Boko Haram militant group in the country’s northeastern state of Borno.
Colonel Tukur Gusau, the military spokesman for Borno, said on Tuesday that the ban was imposed in order to prevent militant attacks against remote communities across the region.
“Military authorities have banned the use of horses in the entire Borno state to stave off Boko Haram terrorist attacks,” media outlets quoted Gusau as saying.
The Nigerian official added that the measure was taken after talks with the council of traditional chiefs and the state government.
In recent weeks, Boko Haram terrorists have used the horseback tactic for attacks in remote communities in the region.
The spokesman said the state-wide ban on horse riding will allow the military troops to “distinguish locals from terrorists.”
“We know that only the terrorists will flaunt this ban and our troops will take the appropriate action when they come across such terrorists in accordance with the rules of engagement.”
Malam Ba’Kura, a local chief, told AFP that the ban had been endorsed by the state’s most influential chief and religious figure.
“The Shehu (of Borno) summoned and briefed all traditional chiefs under the Kanem Borno emirate on the ban on horses, which was decided to stop Boko Haram attacks on villages in northern Borno,” said Ba’Kura, adding, “We welcome this ban and we have spread the news to all our subjects who are also happy with it because it is aimed at ending the new wave of attacks by Boko Haram gunmen riding horses.”
Elsewhere in his remarks, Gusau said the Nigerian military has made fresh gains against militants on several fronts across the volatile region.
The regional military official said the ongoing military had thrown the militant group into “disarray,” cutting off their supply lines, including for fuel.
“This has forced the terrorists to abandon their vehicles due to lack of fuel and resort to the use of horses in carrying out attacks in remote villages.”
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who came to power in late May, replaced the heads of the army, navy, air force and his chief of defense staff in an effort to reenergize the fight against Boko Haram.
The terrorist group has since stepped up its attacks. According to an AFP count, bombings and a wave of raids have left at least 1,000 people dead in Nigeria alone in less than three months.
The Boko Haram militancy began in 2009, when the terrorist group started an armed rebellion against the government. Latest figures show about 20,000 people have been killed since then.
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