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Chad Withdraws Troops From Fight Against Boko Haram In Niger | The Precision

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Chad has withdrawn hundreds of troops from
neighbouring Niger, where they were helping local forces fight Boko
Haram Islamist militants, humanitarian sources and officials said. 

The
pull-out over the past two weeks could weaken a region-wide struggle
against the militants who have killed tens of thousands of people,
forced many more to flee and triggered a humanitarian crisis.
There was no immediate explanation or comment from defence officials in Chad. 
But
the move came a month after the vast central African country complained
about an unexpected U.S. travel ban imposed on its nationals. Chad
warned at the time the order could affect its security commitments –
which include its involvement in the U.S.-backed fight against Boko
Haram. 
Residents said the withdrawal had
already had an impact on Niger’s Diffa region, which has seen a string
of attacks by Boko Haram militants crossing over from their base in
neighbouring Nigeria. 
Ibrahim Arimi from the
border village of Bosso said banditry had increased since the Chadian
troops started leaving and he had been temporarily moved to another
village for safety. 
Diffa parliamentarian
Lamido Moumouni said residents had started complaining. “They have come
to rely on the forces so there is a perception that security will be
lacking,” he said by telephone. 
At its peak in
2016 after an attack in Bosso, Chad had 2,000 troops in Niger to help
counter Boko Haram although security sources said this has fallen since. 
Boko Haram has attacked Chad, Niger and
Cameroon from its base in northeast Nigeria. Its eight-year bid to carve
out an Islamist caliphate has driven millions from their homes – more
than 200,000 of them are now based in Diffa, with little prospect of
returning home. 
Thousands of them are camped alongside an unfinished highway in the middle of a barren savannah with few resources. 
Chad’s
soldiers also occupy front-line positions in a peacekeeping force in
northern Mali. Falling oil revenues after the price crash in 2014 has
also sapped Chad’s appetite for expensive regional security commitments,
analysts say.
 
Reuters

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