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Chad - Sahel Jihad

Chad continued to prioritize counterterrorism efforts despite ongoing financial woes that affected its ability to meet even basic financial commitments, such as paying police and military salaries.? Although financial hardships limited its ability to provide external counterterrorism assistance, Chad played a strong role in military operations in neighboring countries.? Chad provided approximately 2,500 combat forces to the Lake Chad Regions Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), which also includes Benin, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria. Chad continued to host the French governments Operation Barkhane, Frances integrated counterterrorism mission for the Sahel region that has partnered with forces in the Sahel to degrade terrorist groups in the region. Chad continued to deploy 1,450 soldiers supporting the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). Chad is a member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.

Boko Haram (BH) and ISIS-West Africa (ISIS-WA) both continued to operate in the area around Lake Chad, taking advantage of porous borders to move among Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria. ISIS-WA and BH-associated fighters frequently attacked Chadian military forces and villages in Lake Prefecture. No Americans or American organizations were attacked, but one Chadian USAID grantee was among 23 killed in a September attack on the northern edge of Lake Chad.

Boko Haram militants hailing from northeast Nigeria have been stepping up their attacks on the Lake Chad region. In 2015, countries in the region formed the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to fight the militants. The MNJTF is a joint force consisting of soldiers from Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Chad, and Benin. It is tasked with ending the Boko Haram militancy in the Lake Chad region.

In late June 2017 the Chadian army said at least eight soldiers were killed and several others wounded in fierce fighting with the Boko Haram Takfiri terrorist group. Colonel Azem, Chad army spokesman, said that another 18 soldiers were also wounded in violent clashes on five islands on Lake Chad, which borders four countries on the edge of the Sahara. "Our forces attacked Boko Haram elements on five islands near Nigeria on June 24 and 25," media outlets quoted the spokesman as saying. Azem also noted that the troops had killed 162 members of the Nigeria-based terrorist group. The Chadian soldiers also destroyed six vehicles along with many of the motorcycles often favored by the Boko Haram militants in their raids.

Boko Haram (BH) and ISIS-West Africa (ISIS-WA) both continued to operate in the area around Lake Chad in 2018, taking advantage of porous borders to move among Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria. ISIS-WA and BH-associated fighters frequently attacked Chadian military forces and villages in Lake Prefecture. No Americans or American organizations were attacked, but one Chadian USAID grantee was among 23 killed in a September attack on the northern edge of Lake Chad. Takfiri Boko Haram militants from Nigeria have killed at least 92 Chadian soldiers in an attack on an army base on the border with Chad. The deadly attack took place in Boma, in western Lac Province, early on 23 March 2020, and lasted around seven hours. "We lost 92 of our soldiers, non-commissioned officers and officers," Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno said after visiting the site of the attack. "It's the first time we have lost so many men," he said. An unnamed soldier said the Boko Haram militants destroyed 24 military vehicles, including armored vehicles, and carried off captured weapons in speedboats.

Chadian army officials report military forces have killed about 1,000 Boko Haram extremists in an operation on the islands of Lake Chad. In a video statement released 09 April 2020, Army spokesman Colonel Azem Bermandoa said the eight-day operation cleared the extremists from the islands in a vast area between Chad, Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon. He said 52 Chadian army soldiers also were killed and nearly 200 others wounded during the operation.

President Idriss Deby has said Chadian troops will no longer participate in military operations outside the country's borders as part of national army campaigns against armed groups active in the Lake Chad region and the Sahel. "Our troops have died for Lake Chad and the Sahel. From today, no Chadian soldiers will take part in a military mission outside Chad," he told national TV on 09 April 2020. Deby's remarks echoed frustration at perceived failures by allies to do more in the fight against armed groups, and came as Chadian armed forces ended a major offensive against Boko Haram in the Lake Chad region.



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