At least twenty-four Chadian soldiers were left dead on Thursday following an attack by jihadist fighters in the troubled Lake Chad region.
A senior local official who is the region’s deputy prefect, Haki Djiddi told newsmen that; ‘Troops from a returning patrol were resting when they were attacked by Boko Haram’.
He went further to narrate that; ‘Twenty-four troops were killed, several were wounded and others have scattered into the countryside.’
Army spokesman General Azem Bermandoa Agouna confirmed that an attack had taken place at Tchoukou Telia, an island 190 kilometres (118 miles) northwest of the capital N’Djamena, but refused to give any toll.
Troops from ‘three army sectors have joined the soldiers who came under attack yesterday,’ Mahamat Fodoul Makay, the governor of Lake province, told reporters.
Lake Chad is a vast area of water and marshland bordered by Niger, Nigeria, and Cameroon as well as Chad.
Jihadists from Boko Haram and a rival splinter group, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), have been using the region for years as a haven from which to attack troops and civilians.
The Chadian authorities tend to call the jihadists “Boko Haram” regardless of their affiliation.
In March 2020, around 100 Chadian troops were killed in an overnight attack on the lake’s Bohoma peninsula, prompting an offensive the following month led by Chad’s then-president, Idriss Deby Itno.
After pursuing the militants deep into Niger and Nigeria, Deby said there was “not a single jihadist anywhere” on the Chadian side of the lake region.
Attacks have however continued ever since.
Africa Daily News, New York recalls that in July, no fewer than 11 Cameroonian troops and a civilian were killed in two attacks in Cameroon’s Far North region, the tongue of land that lies between Chad to the east and Nigeria to the west.
Deby was killed in April 2021 during fighting against rebels in northern Chad and was succeeded by his son, Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, at the head of a military junta.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK