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Updated Jan. 30, 2015 6:36 a.m. ET

Chad Fights Boko Haram in Nigeria as Call
Goes Out for Regional Force
Chadians Clear Islamist Insurgents from Nigerian Town of Mallam Fatori

Soldiers of the Chadian army at the border between Nigeria and Cameroon on Jan. 21. Chad sent a convoy of
troops and 400 military vehicles into neighboring Cameroon to battle Boko Haram on Jan. 17-18. Photo: Agence
France-Presse/Getty Images

By Drew Hinshaw in Yola, Nigeria, and Matina Stevis in Nairobi
Updated Jan. 30, 2015 6:36 a.m. ET

Chadian military forces liberated a Nigerian town from Boko Haram militants on Friday,
hours after the African Union’s top official called on Nigeria’s neighbors to contribute to a
7,500-strong multinational force to combat the Islamist insurgency escalating beyond the
country’s borders and prevent the destabilization of the West African region.
Troops from Nigeria’s neighbor launched their attack on Wednesday, a local military official
said. A spokesman for the Nigerian army confirmed the Chadians had cleared Boko Haram
from the Nigerian town of Mallam Fatori, and said the operation had been coordinated with
Nigeria’s military, also operating in the area.
Chad’s military presence in Nigeria and the African Union’s call for a multinational military
operation to push back the militant group underscore both Boko Haram’s reach and the
region’s frustration with Nigeria’s failure to contain it.
The call to arms for Nigeria’s neighbors comes at a politically sensitive time for Africa’s
largest democracy and top economy.
President Goodluck Jonathan is in a tight contest for re-election, with security being among
the main issues in the Feb. 14 vote. Despite having one of the continent’s largest armies,

Nigeria’s military has failed to stop Boko Haram from slaughtering thousands of civilians and advancing toward major cities in the country’s northeast. The Islamic insurgency first overran the town in September: resident James Sunday remembers them going house to house. Gen.” She asked AU heads of state to approve her proposal for a multinational military force in their meeting Friday afternoon and said the technical details for the mission would be set out Feb. the president told a crowd in the northeastern city of Yola that Nigerian troops had liberated the town of Michika again. recruiting young men and boys. preaching to its residents. and the increasing attacks in the Lake Chad Basin. reassuring the townspeople that Boko Haram wouldn’t harm them. to defeat this group. but days earlier the country’s national security adviser told a conference in London that the foreign force wouldn’t help and wasn’t necessary. Nigeria’s opposition candidate—a retired general tied neck-and-neck with Mr. Warplanes screeched overhead as he spoke. 5-7 at a meeting in Yaoundé. The proposed military force would fight against the Islamist militants. returned. It is far from certain that Nigeria would welcome thousands of foreign troops on its soil for an extended period. on Friday that the government welcomed the AU’s move to deploy a multinational force to help fight Boko Haram. The army has said it is open to foreign military assistance. On Thursday. Cameroon’s capital. reasserting control. The ramping up of military assistance—from its far poorer neighbors—could be seen as an admission of an inability to cope by the incumbent president. Dlamini-Zuma said in her statement. ”No efforts should be spared. then slipping out as warplanes swoop in. the military said. President Jonathan’s government has largely opposed the idea.“ Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. “The continued attacks in northeastern Nigeria. along the border with Chad and Cameroon…have ”far-reaching security and humanitarian consequences. In a recent interview. help refugees fleeing their homes because of Boko Haram assaults. so long as they practiced Islam. “Boko Haram’s horrendous abuses. though in recent days the government has issued more conflicting opinions. residents said. a stipulation Nigeria’s neighbors have found frustrating.” he said Wednesday. as part of the AU counterterrorism agenda. total disregard for human lives. But African leaders appear to have lost patience with President Jonathan. said in a statement released late Thursday. A month later. Boko Haram left the town—but weeks later. and wanton destruction of property are unmatched. military jets bombed the area. and search for the hundreds the group has . as long as the entire effort is subordinated into its own command and control structure. “If we are in trouble it is only right that we accept their help. Nigerian troops have traded control over Michika for months. unspeakable cruelty. followed by troops.” Ms. A presidential spokesman told the British Broadcasting Corp. Jonathan—has made an issue of the incumbent’s reluctance to accept foreign help. Muhammadu Buhari said he would “certainly” welcome an AU force if elected. with Boko Haram slipping into the town. and the Nigerian government to stop the wave of horrific attacks. the chairwoman of the African Union.

The regional army to combat Boko Haram would be staffed with soldiers from Chad.stevis@wsj. Nigeria contributed to this article Write to Drew Hinshaw at drew. She said that the United Nations should finance this new force’s operations through a trust fund and that the setup of the force should follow the template of similar ones in Mali. including the more than 250 schoolgirls still missing since April last year. —Gbenga Akingbule in and Matina Stevis at matina. Niger. according to the statement issued by Ms.hinshaw@wsj. Nigeria. The AU’s forces in Mali and CAR are also larger. the force proposed to halt Boko Haram’s rapid emergence as a military threat in Nigeria will be a fraction of the one deployed in Somalia. Still.abducted. Ms. the Central African Republic and Somalia—all countries that in recent years have teetered on the verge of collapse because of civil conflict. counting more than 10. Dlamini-Zuma. Cameroon and Benin and be given a year to deploy to begin with. DlaminiZuma said. staffed with more than .000 soldiers each.000 uniformed personnel.