Despite reports credited to President Muhammadu Buhari that Boko Haram has been reduced to its minimal level, US Africa Command (US AFRICOM) Commander David Rodriguez, has confirmed that the sects group still control a huge part of the territories in Northern Nigeria.
The fight against the insurgents has become a lingering aspect going by their continuous activities within this region.
Rodriguez spoke on Tuesday in response to a question during testimony before the US Senate Armed Services Committee reviewing fiscal year 2017 defense budget.
His comment about Boko Haram was in response to a question by Senator Angus King of Maine who asked : “Is Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram growing, are they adding members? I know they don’t hold territory, are they adding areas of influence?” to which Rodriguez replied, “actually sir, Boko Haram does hold some significant territory in Northern Nigeria as do Al-Shabaab in limited areas of Somalia.”
He added that recently there is a “tactical upswing” in Al-Shabaab’s operations in Somali but did not elaborate on Boko Haram’s operations, adding in his written testimony to the Senate Committee that containing and degrading the ISIL-affiliated Boko Haram remains one of AFRICOM’s top priorities.
“We are watching carefully for signs that the threat posed by Boko Haram to US persons is growing as a result of the group’s alignment with ISIL,” Rodriguez added.