The German government says it will expand its military support to the Nigerian Army beyond its counterterrorism focus to include technical training in the detection and disposal of bombs and improvised explosive devices, logistical support to mechanized units, and the establishment of a peacekeeping training center.
In a statement released after a meeting in Nigeria between Nigerian Chief of Defense Staff Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin and Col. Thomas Brillisauer, German military advisory team leader, 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, support to military mechanical units, the establishment of a peacekeeping training center, the provision of counter-training, detection and disposal equipment, and capacity-building and training of medical corps, among others,” Abubakar said.
In addition to supplying limited amounts 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.
Brillisauer said Germany wants to provide the Nigerian Army with more equipment to support its 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 pilots. In 2013, German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Abuja and offered to help train Nigerian Army counterterrorism units fighting Boko Haram.
Since 2014, Germany has also trained several Nigerian Navy units in 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.
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