Nigeria needs foreign help to defeat Boko Haram, a senior intelligence source has said, as the country’s top Muslim leader broke his silence to demand action to defeat the militants.
The security source, who agreed to an interview on condition of anonymity, said the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls had laid bare Nigeria’s inability to end the increasingly bloody uprising.
“The Chibok kidnap has exposed our nakedness. It has exposed how porous we are,” he said in the state capital of northeastern Borno state, Maiduguri.
“It has clearly shown that we don’t have the wherewithal to deal with this insurgency that has raged on for five years now.
“We have no option but to eat humble pie and accept whatever foreign assistance we can get to end this violence.”
The comments follow sharp criticism in Nigeria and abroad of the government’s initial response to the crisis, which has since led to international teams being sent to help in the rescue effort.
Ratcheting up global pressure further, the United Nations Security Council on Thursday formally proscribed Boko Haram as an al-Qaeda-linked terrorist organisation.
An arms embargo and assets freeze is designed to cut off foreign funding and support from groups such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
But Jacob Zenn, from the Jamestown Foundation think-tank, said Boko Haram largely operated “beyond the formal parameters where an arms embargo or asset freeze would affect the group”. [AFP]