Nigeria’s notorious Boko Haram insurgents are using weapons that were looted from Libyan arms depots during the 2011 uprising, a South African diplomat has said.
“There were a lot of arms that were looted during the war,” Mohammed Dangor, South Africa’s former Ambassador to Libya told The Anadolu Agency on Monday night after delivering an address at the opening of a major conference on political Islam held in Pretoria.
He said some of weapons looted during and since a 2011 uprising that ousted long-serving ruler Muammar Gaddafi were later smuggled into Niger, Chad, Mali and Nigeria, among other African countries.
“Looted arms have created a cycle of instability in the region,” Dangor, who has just returned to South Africa after serving as ambassador to Libya from 2009 to Dec. 2014, told AA.
“We shouldn’t pre-empty. They will come up with ways to deal with the situation,” he told AA.
The year 2014 proved to be the insurgency’s bloodiest year yet, with increasingly frequent attacks, higher death tolls and a deluge of displaced persons.
A seemingly emboldened Boko Haram recently stepped up its militant activity, seizing several areas of Nigeria’s Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, where it has since declared a self-styled “Islamic caliphate.”
According to Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency, 981,416 people had been displaced by recent militant activity while as many as nine million had been “directly or indirectly affected” by the violence.