Boko Haram has widened its attacks to a fourth country, attacking a village in Chad for the first time on Friday morning.
The Islamist militant group has killed thousands in its home country, Nigeria, and it has moved into neighboring Niger and Cameroon. On Friday, the group moved across Lake Chad on motorized canoes to attack a nation whose military has started fighting Boko Harm in the region, according to the New York Times.
Boko Haram attacked Ngouboua near the edge of the lake while residents were sleeping, using one of the group’s standard tactics, and the village chief was killed. Two militants were killed while pushing back the military.
Thousands of Nigerian refugees who had escaped Boko Haram were living in the village, and many have started to flee the region. Chad is home to about 17,000 refugees who fled across the lake after Boko Haram attacked the Nigerian town of Baga in January, according to NBC News.
Chad has been aggressive in combating Boko Haram over the last month, going so far as entering a Nigerian territory to take back a village from the group and putting thousands of troops to work. Chad has used oil money to reinforce its army with weapons purchases, and it’s now viewed by analysts as the most capable of the four nations currently fighting Boko Haram.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Ignatius Kaigama” author_title=”Nigerian Archbishop”]
I’m not sure they understand the magnitude of what is happening and how, gradually, this is capable of destabilizing the entire nation, the surrounding countries and, eventually, all of Africa. When Africa is affected in such a manner, you can be sure that the West will feel the heat also.
On Wednesday, President Barack Obama asked Congress for authorization for a three-year military campaign against the Islamic State. Boko Haram’s violence has killed more than the Islamic State, and it could arguably affect the United States more. At least 15,000 have been killed since Boko Haram began its insurgency in 2009, and it represents a threat to the entire African continent, according to Nigerian Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama, according to the Huffington Post.