Nigerian troops are preparing a major offensive against Boko Haram in Maiduguri. Reports indicate that at least 2,000 people residents of Jakana village have been forced to flee to the northeastern Nigerian city ahead of the apparent offensive against the terrorists.
Nigerian troops herded residents of Jakana village into trucks and ferried them 40 kilometers to a displacement camp in the Borno State capital known as Bakassi IDP. The evacuation is geared at reducing civilian casualties as well as people that can be used as human shields by Boko Haram as the operation to flush out the fighters in the area.
Military officials in the city said the evacuation was in preparation for a big operation against Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), the IS-linked faction of Boko Haram.
Jakana village lies on a known crossing route for ISWAP fighters moving between their camps in the Benisheikh forest area of Borno and their hideouts in the Buni Yadi area of neighboring Yobe state.
Boko Haram’s insurgency has killed more than 27,000 people in the northeast with 1.8 million still displaced from their homes. The conflict has spread to neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military coalition against the jihadists.