Niger’s Security Minister Hassoumi Massaoudou said on Thursday that his country has detained 643 individuals for their ties to Boko Haram since February.
Reporting to the country’s parliament in Niger’s capital of Niamey, Massaoudou said that the military currently has 3,000 soldiers deployed as part of a regional task force made up of Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon, aimed at targeting Boko Haram.
Massaoudou hailed Niger’s decision to deploy its forces against Boko Haram, claiming that the military mobilisation prevented a state of emergency in the Nigeria border province of Diffa.
He also announced that over 600 detained individuals would face trial on charges of terrorism and criminal conspiracy.
Boko Haram has been fighting a six-year insurgency in a bid to establish a state of its own in northern Nigeria and other neighboring territories and in the process has killed thousands of people and caused about 1.5 million to flee their homes.
A recent offensive by Nigerian army was backed by neighboring Niger and Chad, leading to the recapture of most of the territory in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states and forcing Boko Haram to retreat.