Friday, 06 March 2015 10:08

Ex-SANDF soldiers fighting Boko Haram

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E-South Africa Defence Force soldiers in trainingFormer South African Defense Force soldiers are reportedly playing a major role in fighting terror group Boko Haram in Nigeria.

The soldiers are reportedly part of a multi-national task team who have been hired by Nigeria to help train their soldiers to fight Boko Haram.

"The former SADF members are definitely playing a major role in this offensive. They have been in country for a significant time already, involved in training some specialised NDF [Nigerian Defence Forces] units," News24 quoted a former military intelligence source as saying.

Nigeria called on the multi-national task force after the Nigerian presidential security adviser said that its campaign against Boko Haram was being hampered by "cowards" within the armed forces, hinting at great dissatisfaction with the way military was handling the situation.

Boko Haram has taken control of the northern parts of Nigeria and conducted suicide bombing campaigns in major cities. It has also kidnapped young women and sold them into slavery.

There though seems to be some confusion over the use of former South African soldiers in Nigeria, after Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula called for the arrest of the former soldiers once they return home.

Under the Regulation of Foreign Military Assistance Act 15 of 1998, it is illegal for South Africans to fight in a foreign country (or within South Africa) without the authorisation of the National Conventional Arms Control Committee.

Nigeria though says that it has cleared the use of former SANDF soldiers with President Jacob Zuma, with the soldiers also insisting that their involvement has been cleared by the SA government.

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