The Republic of Benin has announced its readiness to deploy 150 soldiers in the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) – the regional military cooperation established to fight Boko Haram insurgents and other terror acts – in April.
Mohammed Dole, MNJTF’s deputy director of army public relations, made the confirmation in a statement on Tuesday, saying Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic had already sent their troops since 2015 to join Nigerian forces at Njeimana.
In continuation of his visits to political authorities and military hierarchies of member states of the MNJTF for consultation, Yarou Robert Theophile, the Beninese minister of defence, had met with the commander of the MNJTF, Lamidi Adeosun, in Benin Republic.
This visit followed the final operational visit to troops deployed in all the sectors and sub-sector, where he assessed their immediate logistics and operational requirements in the field.
“While conferring with the HMOD, Yarou Robert Theophile, the commander MNJTF briefed him on operational status of the MNJTF and arrangement made for the provision of living and offices accommodation for the Benin contingent,” Dole said.
“HQ MNJTF and all the sectors are fully operational, hence the need for deployment of Benin troops in the theatre of operation. The Benin contingent are expected to perform garrison duties, provision of escort and security to humanitarian operations, protection of very important personalities (VIP) and serve as reserve force for quick intervention when necessary.”
Assuring the commander of the government’s commitment to deploy its pledged troops for MNJTF operation, he said the initial delay was due to some logistics and equipment challenges, which were recently provided.
“The first batch of 150 military personnel will be deployed in Ndjamena, HQ MNJTF before the end of April 2016, while the remaining batches will be airlifted subsequently to meet up with 750 troops expected from Benin Republic,” he said.