Nigerien soldiers patrol along the Nigerian border, near the south-eastern city of Bosso, on May 25, 2015. Niger has extended for three months the state of emergency in its southeastern Diffa region where the army has been battling Boko Haram militants since February, authorities announced on May 27, 2015. The operation, nicknamed Barkhane, which succedeed to Serval one, is taking place across Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad and involves a total 3,000 French troops. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
GABORONE, Botswana — The German government says it will expand its military support to the Nigerian Army beyond from its current counterterrorism focus to include the provision of technical training in the detection and disposal of bombs and improvised explosive devices, (IEDs), technical/logistical support to mechanized units, and the establishment of a peacekeeping training center.
In a statement released after a meeting in Nigeria held between Nigerian Chief of Defense Staff Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin and Col. Thomas Brillisauer, German military advisory team leader, in NigeriaColonel Thomas Brillisauer in Abuja, Nigerian Army Acting Director of Defense Information Col. Rabe Abubakar said Germany wants to expand areas of cooperation to strengthen the defense and security relations between the two countries.
"These include medical services to cater to the treatment of the war victims, for the injured and traumatized, support to military mechanical units, the establishment of a peacekeeping training center, the provision of counter-(IED) training, detection and disposal equipment, and capacity-building and training of medical corps, among others," Col Abubakar said.
In addition to supplying limited amounts volumes of military hardware, the German Army is the sole trainer of officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces Electronic and Mecha-tronics Engineering School and Workshop.
Col Brillisauer said Germany wants to provide the Nigerian Army with more equipment to support its the counterinsurgency war against the Islamic militant group Boko Haram.
The defense relationship between the two countries dates back to 1962, when West Germany started training Nigerian Air Force (NAF) pilots. In 2013, German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Abuja and offered to help train Nigerian Army counterterrorism units fighting the Boko Haram. insurgency in the north-east.
Since 2014, Germany has also trained several Nigerian Navy units in on the conduct of counterpiracy operations in the Gulf of Guinea in addition to supplying submachine guns to counterterrorism units.
The US, Britain, France, Russia, China, Pakistan and South Korea have also offered to increase support to the Nigerian Army's four-year-old counterinsurgency war against Boko Haram.