End times wars and rumors of wars … “see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass” Matt 24:6
A constant procession of military aircraft through the skies above Chad bears witness to a new regional war now unfolding in central Africa – and to the arms-length involvement of the leading Western powers.
On the face of it, the new conflict pits the armies of four African countries against the Islamist gunmen of Boko Haram. Behind the scenes, however, France, America and Britain are all playing a supporting role.
Starting on Monday, Chad will host a military exercise with special forces from 15 Western countries, including Britain.
While this annual round of war-games predates Boko Haram’s insurgency, the growing threat posed by the gunmen now overshadows everything else.
After recently joining Nigeria, Niger, and Cameroon in a military coalition against Boko Haram, Chad suffered an overnight “pay back attack;” the first such assault on Chadian soil, officials say.
The jihadists, who want to create their own Islamic caliphate in Nigeria, have killed thousands and forced millions to flee their homes in the country’s north-east Nigeria since 2009.
Residents of the village of Ngouboua put the number of attackers at around 30 and said they torched two-thirds of the village’s homes.
- “They came on board three canoes and succeeded in killing about 10 people before being pushed back by the army,” one resident told Reuters.
Chadian military aircraft carried out air strikes against the militants in response, destroying their vessels, officials said.