Days after the US donated armoured vehicles to the Nigerian military to aid in the war against insurgency, the United Kingdom has deployed 35 military personnel to the country to provide training for Nigerian forces combating Boko Haram.
The personnel, who were drawn from the Second Battalion, the Royal Anglian Regiment, would provide infantry training for Nigerian soldiers to tackle the extremist group in the northeastern part of Nigeria, reports PUNCH.
In a statement released in Abuja, the Press and Public Relations Affairs Officer of the British High Commission, Joe Abuku, said the number of British personnel deployed on training tasks in Nigeria was expected to reach 300.
The statement partly read, “Almost 1,000 Nigerian Army personnel had benefitted from training to prepare them for counter-insurgency operations in the North-East, and the work by 2 RANGLIAN, known as The Poachers, is now well-recognised across the AFN.
“The UK also supports a Nigerian intelligence and analysis cell focussed on the North-East and based in Abuja, and nearly 30 UK Armed Forces personnel are deployed in Nigeria on an enduring basis in training and advisory roles.”
The personnel, it was gathered, are also expected to provide assistance in countering improvised explosive devices, as well as medical training and advice.
The Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, had earlier announced a step up in training to help Nigerian forces to stamp out the threat posed by Boko Haram.
The statement said a new RAF training team to improve the knowledge and skills of the Nigerian Air Force in airfield defence and counter-insurgency, would also be provided.
It said that the 2 RANGLIAN, based in Cottesmore, Rutland, had provided support for the military, adding that the 130 personnel deployed in Nigeria in 2015, performed a wide range of tasks.
These, he said, included training in infantry skills, civil-military affairs, media relations, command and leadership, IED-awareness, and support to Nigerian military training schools and establishments.
In a related development, the Nigerian Army has said it has made advanced plans to establish two new divisions in Borno State and part of the South-South geopolitical zone.
According to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, the new divisions, to be known as the 8th and 6th divisions of the Army, would be based in Borno North and the South-South respectively.
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