The United states who are currently on a mission to rescue the missing over 200 Chibok school girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno state on April 14 said that the 80 personnel deployed in Chad on the rescue mission are from the Air Force.
President Jonathan and US President Obama
The President of the United states, Barack Obama in a letter on Wednesday said that the US personnel, who would help with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft for missions over northern Nigeria, which shares a border with Chad are reported to have begun their mission using a drone and Global Hawks.
A spokesman at the U.S. military’s Africa command in Germany, Chuck Prichard, yesterday said that the 80 Air Force personnel were previously stationed in the United States, but he did not say precisely where in the U.S.
A senior U.S. official said the drone is a Predator and will be in addition to the unarmed Global Hawks already being used. The new flights will be based out of Chad and allow the military to expand its search to that country. Initially the flights were largely over Nigeria.
Lt. Col. Myles Caggins said Wednesday that newly deployed forces will help expand drone searches of the region. About 40 of the troops make up the launch and recovering teams for the drone being deployed there and the other 40 make up the security force for the team.
Meanwhile Boko Haram has been blacklisted by the United Nations Security Council al Qaeda Sanctions Committee following its recent upsurge in its activities in the country.
U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power welcomed the council’s action, calling it “an important step in support of the government of Nigeria’s efforts to defeat Boko Haram and hold its murderous leadership accountable for atrocities.”
Nigeria’s U.N. Ambassador U. Joy Ogwu said Wednesday “the important thing is to attack the problem, and that is terrorism.”