The outgoing Force Commander (FC) Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF)Maj Gen Abdul Khalifah Ibrahim in continuation of his farewell visit sequel to his recent redeployment to the Nigerian National Security Adviser’s office, today 10 April 2023 visited Sectors 2 MNJTF Bagasola (Chad) and Sector 3 MNJTF Monguno (Nigeria). Bagasola is in the eastern part of Chad and is the Headquarters of the MNJTF Sector 2 and also hosts a big refugee camp with thousands of people from Nigeria domiciled there. The FC was accompanied by the Deputy Force Commander ( DFC) Brig Gen Assoualai Blama and other senior officers of the MNJTF. The FC was received on arrival by the Commander Sector 2, Brig Gen Youssouf Mahamat Itno, his deputy, and other key officers of the Sector.
After the traditional welcome courtesies, the FC informed the officers and men that he was in Bagasola to bid them farewell as he has been redeployed and the new FC will be taking over in a few day’s time. In his remarks, the FC described the Chadian Sector 2 MNJTF troops as highly mobile and hard-hitting professionals. He thanked the Commander Sector 2 for his leadership and urged him to maintain the high morale of the Sector, adding that though the criminals have been degraded, there is a need for all the Sectors to push for an end to terrorist activities in the region. He appreciated the officers and men for their courage and for cooperating with him. He paid tribute to all those who paid the supreme sacrifice in the quest for peace in the region. The FC appreciated the Government and people of Chad for their continued support of the MNJTF and requested for same as the new FC.
- While responding, the Commander Sector 2, Brig Gen Y Mahamat Itno thanked the FC for finding time to bid them farewell. He described the FC as a strict but fair-minded General who treated all the Sectors equally. He further averred that the security situation in the Sector 2 area of operations and indeed the Lake Chad Basin region has improved tremendously. He said in Sector 2, thousands of people who were hitherto displaced have returned to their ancestral homes in places like Kalam and Bagatolorom amoung other places. He further stated that significant Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) projects have been delivered since the FC assumed command. He ended by thanking the FC for his leadership qualities and that the sector is ever ready to carry out MNJTF operations at all times and wished the FC the best in his new assignment. The FC then inspected the new Sector HQ complex. There were exchange of gifts and group photographs to formally bring the visit to a close.
- Similarly, the FC visited Headquarters Sector 3 MNJTF Monguno (Nigeria). Monguno is the largest town in northern Borno hosting thousands of people including the internally displaced. The FC on arrival was received by the Commander Sector 3, MNJTF, Maj Gen AE Abubakar. After the welcome ceremony, the FC was briefed by General Abubakar, and at the end of the brief, he thanked the FC for finding time to pay a farewell visit. The Commander appreciated the significant support received from MNJTF which include training support, issue of equipment as well as communication equipment among others. He confirmed that the security situation in the area has improved significantly with hundreds of BH/ ISWAP, their families, and other collaborators surrendering every day as a consequence of their operations, infighting among the criminals, and the result of own psychological operations. He also said the offensive postures of the troops and the joint operations conducted with Sector 4 Diffa (Niger) has helped the Sector to dominate the areas of operation. He thanked the FC for his guidance and direction. He assured the FC of Sector 3’s continued readiness to carry out MNJTF operations. He wished the FC the very best in his new posting.
- In his response, the FC thanked the Commander for the warm reception and for his achievements since the assumption of duty. According to the FC, the Commander’s innovative style of leadership has led him to evolve strategies to dominate and defeat the adversary in his area of operations. This has resulted in the improved security situation. He expressed satisfaction with the Sector’s effort in curtailing the activities of BH terrorists and their collaborators in the area. He praised the troops for their courage, commitment, and determination. The FC warned that the terrorist group has not been completely routed out and consequently, we must maintain the pressure on them.
- The FC also met with the representatives of the NGOs as well as the traditional leadership of Monguno. He thanked them all and urged them to continue to support and collaborate with the military to achieve their joint end state of peace and security. The FC and DFC laid wreaths in honour of the fallen heroes at the Sector 3 mini cenotaph. The FC had earlier commissioned a VIP walkway named after a late Commanding officer of 157 Battalion, late Lt Col II Sakaba who was unfortunately killed in action in Metele in 2018, He described the fallen hero as a committed and professional officer who must not be forgotten. He appreciated the Commander for this noble idea which he applauded.
Highlights of the visit were the presentation of gifts and group photographs. The FC and his entourage have since returned to N’Djamena.
Chief Military Public Information Officer MNJTF
10 April 2023