Multinational Joint Task Force Intercepts Boko Haram Arms Cache in Niger

Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger
Bianca holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Otago, New Zealand. As the Africa Desk Chief for Atlas, her expertise spans conflict, politics, and history. She is also the Editor for The ModernInsurgent and has interests in yoga and meditation.

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What You Need to Know:

Four RPG-7’s, an AK-47 and its magazine, mobile phones, Nigerian license plates, and four bank cards were seized this morning by the Multinational Joint Task Force (MLJTF) in Kalebawa, Niger. 

The arms most likely came from Boko Haram forces in Nigeria’s Borno State, although it is also possible the arms transited through Yobe State, as a border pass for Niger’s Maine Soroa border crossing was also recovered from the V8 Toyota Sequoia. 

The arms were found after a compartment in the vehicle was found to have a false bottom. 

Boko Haram is heavily active in Borno State, with the group kidnapping an estimated 280 schoolchildren last week. The state has spent years attempting to address the issue of Islamic terrorism and banditry in its various regions, but due to the decentralized nature of Boko Haram and other bandit groups operating in the region, Nigerian security services have struggled to make meaningful gains. 

The Details:

The Multinational Joint Task Force was established by the Nigerian Government in 1994 to combat banditry in the Lake Chad Basin (LCB) area, with Niger and Chad committing troops to the force in 1998. The mass kidnapping of schoolgirls by Boko Haram from the Nigerian town of Chibok in 2014 illustrated to the world the intensity of the threat of Islamic extremism in the LCB region. 

As a result, since 2015 the force has received troops from Cameroon and support from the African Union to combat cross-border arms trafficking in the region. The African Union also supplies the force with technological and humanitarian resources. Troops from Benin have also aided the MNJTF since 2015, although not in a combat capacity.