Nigeria is studying the military tactics used by Sri Lanka to crush the rebel Tamil Tigers for its own battle against Islamist group Boko Haram, the defense ministry said, after holding talks with officials from the island nation.
The Boko Haram sect abducted over 200 schoolgirls on April 14, 2014 in Chibok, Borno State, and had also kidnapped 20 women from a village near Chibok on June 8, 2014.
According to a report by Reuters, the Ministry of Defence made this known after holding talks with officials from Sri Lanka.
President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration has been criticised for its failure to contain the militant group, which has killed thousands since 2009 and has stepped up its devastating attacks after abducting over 200 girls from Chibok two months ago.
In a statement by the Ministry of Defence, it was learnt that high-ranking members of Nigeria’s military met with a Sri Lankan delegation to discuss counter-insurgency tactics.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, said it was “seriously considering” methods employed by Sri Lanka including “total security”, or focusing all of the country’s resources on the military.
However, Sri Lanka’s tactics were criticised internationally for the loss of many civilian lives. The United Nations had in March launched an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by both sides.
The Sri Lanka government fought for nearly 30 years against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels, who wanted to create a separate state for Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority.
It crushed the LTTE and killed its leaders on the banks of the Nanthikadal lagoon in 2009, amid Western calls for a ceasefire to protect civilians held as shields by the Tigers.
Tens of thousands of civilians were killed in the final months of the civil war.
The Nigerian military have been hamstrung by a lack of investment in military training, failure to maintain equipment and dwindling cooperation with Western forces.
A senior Africa analyst at research firm HIS, Martin Roberts, told Reuters in an interview on Thursday, “As far as the government’s response is concerned, it really exposes the severe limitations of the military.