In the largest surrender since Boko Haram launched their violent insurgency in northeast Nigeria in 2009, at least 200 extremists gave themselves up to the Nigerian Army in Banki, a fishing town on the border with Cameroon, the Nigerian Army declared Friday.
The military’s official Twitter handle announced the news using #OperationLafiyaDole, which translates roughly from Hausa as “Peace with Force.”
According to Nigerian newspaper the Daily Trust, Army spokesman Colonel Sani Usman said the town was liberated from Boko Haram control Thursday by a joint effort of the Nigerian Air Force and the Cameroonian Army. The two militaries are working alongside troops from Benin, Chad, and Niger to beat back the extremists, who have killed more than 17,000 people and displaced millions more since launching their local reign of terror six years ago. The U.S. and France have contributed to the task force’s fight by providing training and intelligence, but have not answered Nigerian requests for military equipment. The United States is reluctant to provide arms due to repeated human rights violations by the Nigerian military while conducting counterterror operations.