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Nigerian Navy’s SBS, Army Amphibious Forces Conduct Joint Operation Near Lake Chad

The Nigerian military has conducted a clearance operation in the fishing town of Baga.

The Nigerian Navy Special Boat Service (SBS), Army amphibious, and local civilian support forces have conducted an operation in the fishing town of Baga, on the shores of Lake Chad.

Baga town in Kukawa Local Government Area of northern Borno is a strategic military and economic town on Nigeria’s section of the freshwater Lake Chad, bordering Niger Republic, Cameroon, Chad, and Nigeria.

According to a statement by Suleiman Dahun, a Commodore and the Navy Spokesperson, the clearance and recovery operation in Baga was carried out by Special Boat Service attached to the Naval Base Lake Chad in conjunction with personnel of 403 Amphibious Brigade and Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), a local militia supporting the military campaign against terror groups.

“The operation, which lasted for four days covered Federal College of Freshwater Fisheries Technology (FCFFT), Doro Baga, Tangon guava, Kwatan Gaba and Kwatan Kuyet, was successfully executed and resulted in the recovery of a box of 40mm Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL) balls,” the statement said.

The Naval special operation unit, SBS has been involved in the military’s counter terrorism (CT)-counterinsurgency (COIN) campaign over the years including as members of the Armed Forces Special Forces retrained in eastern Europe and deployed for COIN during the peak of the insurgency.

The unit, established in 2006, engages in other military activities ranging from foreign assignments to maritime CT operations, littoral and riverine operations, including Reconnaissance and Surveillance, recovery or protection of ships.

The Nigerian Army Amphibious forces which also participated in the joint operation and a critical component of military operations on the  shores of Lake Chad, is attached to 7 Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) contingent based in Baga.

The MNJTF was revamped in 2015 under the mandate of the African Union Peace and Security Council comprising the riparian states and Benin with Force Headquarter in N’Djamena, Chad and  sectional headquarters, in Mora, Cameroon, Bagasola in Chad, Diffa in Niger and Baga in Nigeria.

In Jan, 2015, hundreds of people were killed and many more displaced when Boko Haram overran Baga. However, in Feb. 2015, the Nigerian military announced the recapture of Baga.

In Dec. 2018, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) insurgents overran the Marine police, 7 Brigade, MNJTF base after a fierce battle and destroyed a naval base in Mile three, which lies three miles from Baga, an area popularly called Fish Dam.

A few weeks later, in Jan. 2019, Nigerian troops recaptured the base after advancing into Baga from their staging ground located in the garrison town of Monguno.

Babagana Zulum, Governor of Borno State,  recently  urged the military to reopen the naval base to secure farmers and fishers in the Lake Chad region.

Zulum made the appeal while receiving the new Theatre Commander, Joint Task Force, Operation Hadin Kai, Maj-Gen. Christopher Musa, at the Government House, Maiduguri.

It’s unclear if the navy is currently operating from the Naval outpost in Fish Dam, which HumAngle reported was being upgraded by the Navy or from the MNJTF base in Baga.

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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