Boko Haram
A banner shows pictures of 100 most wanted Boko Haram suspects, released by the Nigerian Army Chief Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai in northeast Nigerian town of Damboa, Feb. 27, 2016. Getty Images/STRINGER/AFP

Nigerian Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai ordered the military to wipe out all elements of Boko Haram from the country by December. In a statement Sunday, Buratai called on the country's soldiers to end the insurgency that has been ongoing for the last seven years.

The Nigerian has ramped up its military offensive against the group, pushing Boko Haram out of territories it has held for years in the northern region of the country. Buratai urged the troops to remain focused and patriotic to their duties and to President Muhammadu Buhari.

The militant group, which pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group (also called ISIS) in 2015, has been active in Nigeria since 2009, and in 2015, spread its activities across the country’s borders into Cameroon, Chad and Niger. The extremist group, which aims to establish an ISIS-style government in Nigeria, has killed thousands of people since launching a brutal insurgency in the country.

You can read Buratai's full statement below.

I am sending to you all, the troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE best wishes as the Yuletide period approaches, I commend you for your sacrifices, commitment, loyalty and courage in the service of our fatherland. I wish to make this call to action and wake up call to you all and to emphasize that we must immediately begin to embark on the final aggressive action and comprehensive sweep of the operational theatre with a view to ending the operation on a very high note. In this regard, no stone should be left unturned. I therefore call on all officers and soldiers to buckle up and ensure that remnants of Boko Haram terrorists are completely cleared. I hope to be with you sometime this month to motivate and positively influence the ongoing operations. This is with a view to having a colourful end of year and peaceful Yuletide in the North East and indeed Nigeria. I urge all commanders to plan and embark on effective patrols, raids, ambushes and deliberate attacks in conjunction with other Services especially the Nigerian Air Force and Nigerian Navy to rescue all those abducted by the terrorists. I also wish to remind all troops that captured and surrendered Boko Haram terrorists must be treated humanely and fairly and in strict accordance with the provisions of International Humanitarian Law and Laws of Armed Conflict. In doing so, we must be prepared to enter all fortresses, camps, dens and enclaves of the Boko Haram to completely flush them out and dominate these areas to ensure they are not reoccupied. I wish to reiterate that December is a month of decision. It is either we succeed in clearing the remnants of Boko Haram terrorists or we continue to live in perpetual circle of their atrocities in the North East. I hereby want to reassure all troops that I intend to return everybody back to Barracks in 2017 only leaving behind a strong, highly mobile, effective and motivated force that will continue to do the good work that we have already started. In this regard we shall also bring reassurances to the populace as normalcy finally returns to the area.