At least 1,250 fleeing Boko Haram fighters and their family members have surrendered to Nigerian troops in Borno State in the last seven days following a deadly clash with the rival Islamic State of the West African Province (ISWAP) that claimed over 200 lives.
Zagazola Makama, a Counter-Insurgency Expert and Security Analyst in the Lake Chad had reported how the ISWAP terrorists carried out reprisal attacks on Boko Haram fighters on February 26 and 27, 2023 in Gaizuwa, Mantari, Gabchari, Kashimiri and Maimusari in Bama, North East Borno state.
The ISWAP group successfully dislodged the Boko Haram fighters, killing many of them and forcing survivors to flee their camps together with their families.
A top Military source told Zagazola Makama that the ISWAP group intercepted the fleeing terrorists in Yale in Konduga and Choliye in Gudumbali in Guzamala LGA and neutralized more than 200 of them.
The ISWAP stormed other hideouts in Asinari, Ashanari and Masarmari area in Konduga on March 1, 2023 and killed scores of the Boko Haram fighters.
The sources explained that the sustained inter-rivalry clash of the groups, triggered massive surrendering of the militants in Mafa, Konduga and Bama Local Government Areas.
“The militants surrendered because of the fear that they would be neutralized by either the Super Tukano’s of the Nigerian Military or the ISWAP rival faction. There was no hiding place anymore,” the source said.
“So far, we have received 1,250 fighters and their families within one week. This number was the highest we have received at a very short period of time in different parts of the theatre.
“The surrendered suspects who also came out with about 1,000 livestock, confessed that the ISWAP were after their lives as they did not spare women and children. Among those who surrendered were women who had been enslaved by, conscripted by or minors born to the insurgents,” he said.
The military sources said profiling of the surrendered terrorists is ongoing, after which the individuals will be handed over to the appropriate agencies for further rehabilitation.
Recall that the military authority said as many as 100,000 fighters and family members, along with their captives, have left Boko Haram.
The largest wave of defections by the terror group was attributed to the death of Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram’s leader, who blew himself up in May 2021, during a rival clash with ISWAP.