Last week, the Chadian troops overran a Boko Haram camp in northern Nigeria, ready to fight and press deep into territory controlled by the Islamist group, however Nigeria refused to let them.
After defeating al-Qaeda in Mali two years ago, Chad’s military is confident that it could finish off Boko Haram insurgents alone, as it has notched up victories that have pushed the Nigerian militants back from the Cameroonian border.
But with presidential election this month, Nigeria is determined to press ahead with its own military campaign against Boko Haram insurgents aiming to push it out of major towns before the March 28 election.
In their forward base in the town of Gambaru on the Nigeria-Cameroun border, Chadian soldiers displayed dozens of guns seized from the insurgent and a burnt-out armoured vehicle painted with black and white Arabic script.
“We turned back because Nigeria did not authorise us to go any further,” army spokesman Colonel Azem Bermandoa said.
Nigeria’s spokesman for operations in the North-east, Mike Omeri, said cooperation between Chadian and Nigerian forces has brought some major military successes and any issues would be resolved via existing command structures.
However, the Chadians say there have been no joint operations between the two forces, as Chad’s offer to join a Nigerian offensive to capture Baga, site of one of Boko Haram’s worst atrocities in January, was rebuffed.