The Nigerian military has arrested several men who helped Boko Haram sell stolen cattle in the Borno State, Premium Times reported Friday. Among those arrested include two police officers and at least four serving soldiers.
It is believed that Boko Haram rustled the cows and then snuck them into the Borno capital, Maiduguri where they sold them and obtained other goods. The act of rustling cattle has been a major source of revenue for Boko Haram since 2009. "As part of measures to stem the tide of livestock rustling which serves as another means of funding Boko Haram terrorists activities, Operation LAFIYA DOLE, in conjunction with other security agencies has taken measures to stop the criminality," Army spokesman Sani Kukasheka Usman said in a statement.
At least 30 people were taken into custody under the cattle rustling ring. Other suspects include civilians who are members of the Livestock Traders Association and some herdsmen.
Nigerian general Lucky Irabor confirmed the arrests during a Wednesday press conference. “Those who have been aiding and abetting Boko Haram by way of encouraging cattle rustling ; so far we have arrested 30 of them, many are civilians and we have among them four soldiers and two policemen. They are being investigated and the outcome of the investigation will be brought to your notice,” he said.
The Nigerian government has vowed to end Boko Haram. “What I can pledge, with absolute certainty, is that from the first day of my administration, Boko Haram will know the strength of our collective will and commitment to rid this nation of terror, and bring back peace and normalcy to all the affected areas,” President Muhammadu Buhari wrote in a New York Times Op-Ed in 2015 shortly after his election.