Benin troops ready to join anti-Boko Haram Task Force

Chadian soldiers and equipment deployed with the Multinational Joint Task Force. PHOTO | FILE 

Benin is to deploy 150 troops to a West African regional military force established to fight Boko Haram insurgents.

Officially known as the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), it comprises troops from Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

The Benin Minister of Defence, Yarou Robert Theophile, has already held consultations with political and military authorities of the troop contributing countries, according to MNJTF spokesman Colonel Mohammed Dole.

The Benin minister had also met with the commander of the Task Force, Major-General Lamidi Adeosun, and visited troops deployed in all the sectors where he assessed their immediate logistics and operational requirements.

The MNJTF is headquartered in the Chadian capital, N'Djamena.

Col. Dole said arrangements have been made for the provision of office living and accommodation for the Benin contingent.

The Benin troops are expected to perform garrison duties, provide escort and security for humanitarian operations, protect VIPs, and also serve as a reserve force for quick intervention when necessary.

Mr Theophile told the Task Force commander that the initial delay in Benin's deployment was due to some logistics and equipment challenges, which had since been corrected.

The first batch of the 150-man contingent will be deployed in N'Djamena before the end of April 2016, he assured.

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