14TH September 2014 Nigeria SITREP(First Battle Of Konduga)

14TH September 2014 Nigeria SITREP

First Battle Of Konduga

It took me almost 48 hours to obtain very reliable information of how events played out on the ground in Konduga Town, Konduga LGA, Borno State of North East Nigeria, on 12th September, when insurgent fighters in their hundreds launched a two-pronged assault targeting Kawuri Village and Konduga Town about 40km from Maiduguri to the south and east.
Utilizing night cover around 3:45AM scores of fighters drawn from combined Yusufiyya forces (all four groups) struck at Kawuri Village, engaging CJTF forces and an estimated company-sized force of soldiers for twenty minutes.
Fifteen minutes after the Kawuri assault began, a main force of some 450 fighters (confirmed) in trucks and Toyota picukups attacked Konduga from the direction of Bama.
Meanwhile company-sized elements drawn from 143 Infantry Battalion (newly trained by US California National Guard Special Operations personel drawn from 19th Special Forces Group) and 176 Special Forces Battalion (detached Brigade Of Guards), and supporting tube field artillery units drawn from a yet unspecified artillery unit within 1 Division, had developed proper defensive and firing zones into which the insurgents were channeled.
At 09:00AM, 150 insurgent reinforcement fighters arrived on scene accompanied by several truck mounted 60mm and 81mm mortar pieces providing the insurgents with their first artillery cover of the engagement (the insurgents are confirmed to have mostly utilized truck mounted 12.5mm machine guns along with man portable Dashoka and RPG teams to provide heavy weapons support throughout the engagement).
By some minutes past 12PM, insurgent forces broke off the assault retreating with scores of wounded why living some 80 something bodies (confirmed) on the field. A military source on the scene confirmed that over 35 soldiers were killed and dozens more injured in various degrees.
Insurgent forces abandoned damaged vehicles and the Army captured several mortar pieces. Army patrol units followed the retreating insurgents, harassing them and conducting recon-by-fire sweeps until 5km outside Konduga they ran into fresh insurgent troops (estimated at a 100 or so) and a firefight broke out lasting some 18 minutes while the the retreating insurgents retreated, then the obvious rearguard (the new arrivals) and the Army recon units broke off contact, each side returning to its territory.

Notable in this was the ‘complete lack of air cover’. Despite frantic radio appeals  by on the ground commanders for air support, ‘not one jet showed up’ over the battlefield.
Firstly for the Nigerian Army this was an important battle and victory especially for its propaganda value. With elements of arguably the two best-trained formations in the entire Nigerian Army deployed to engage the insurgents at Konduga, based on what was definitely credible enough intelligence, it is obvious the Nigerian Government was intent on securing a victory (the commanders for morale, the politicians for political points). But on closer examination, this battle and victory for the Nigerian Army was not strategically worth it, and here:

This was not an attempt to seize Konduga as is being portrayed in the media nor was the intention to march on Maiduguri. This was a probing attack to test the defensive positions around Maiduguri. 600 men (total number of insurgent fighters said to have taken part at the Battle of Konduga) is definitely not enough to invest and seize Konduga not to talk of Maiduguri, and the insurgents are definitely not stupid (stupid people don’t outsmart an army like Nigeria’s and overrun towns and a city in three whole states). In seizing Gulak, Madagali, Bazza, and Michika, places with considerably less military presence than Konduga, they employed nothing less than 1,000 fighters per each operation. For Konduga, they needed at minimum, 1,800 fighters and definitely much more artillery and heavy weapons support than was used at the last battle of Konduga.

The insurgents do not lack artillery (mortars, recoiless rifles, Triple-A guns), but surprisingly they did not deploy much artillery which they would have did (especially the Tripple-A guns), if they intended to capture Konduga.

I expect more of such probes to take place along the approaches to Maiduguri. If the insurgents aim to seize Maiduguri, this might be a prelude to a full-scale assault on Konduga, in which case building on lessons learnt from it, the knowledge gained of the kind of forces they may likely meet in a second battle of Konduga will definitely be put to use by the insurgent battle-planners.
Did this battle change anything? Absolutely did not. Just some kilometers outside Konduga insurgent forces maintain their very visible presence. There was no withdrawal from positions which they occupy.
The Army did not press the advantage it should have gained had its opponents been in flight from the battlefield, rather it did not because it could not, and the recon-by-fire teams it sent out to harass the retreating insurgents were forced back under fire from rebel rearguard forces.

On Bama And Other Towns
Ineffectual aerial raids (note my choice of words, raids, not bombardments) continue on almost daily basis targeting already bombed-out locations apparently still marked as ‘suspected terrorist positions’ e.g the mosques and areas the palaces of traditional rulers in insurgent-occupied towns.
Some civilian casualties are said to have been killed by exploding aerial ordnance in Bama yesterday and today, although this cannot be confirmed.
Do these raids serve any meaningful strategic purpose? I have been asked this question by many followers of this blog via email. The answer depends on if these raids were designed to degrade insurgent capabilities or just to annoy the insurgents and  piss them the flaming hell off.
If the aim was the first, the aircraft are too few and too vulnerable to enemy Triple-A guns to do any serious damage. Add the fact that very few insurgents are in the towns as most are dispersed in the surrounding hills and bushes.
However if the aim was to annoy the insurgents like a stingless male anopheles mosquito buzzing in the air, then the aim can certainly be described as over achieved as not only the insurgents but also the locals left in the areas have been pissed off by the air raids that seem to do nothing but destroy the mosques.

Shot Down Jet?
on Saturday 13th September I was made aware that the previous day, a single Alpha Jet was scampered to provide air support to troops battling insurgents at Konduga, my initial source who is a ranking AirForce officer said the plane is suspected to have been shot over Bama-Gwoza axis or Northern Adamawa State. An Insurgent source whom I sent a feeler to claims that a Triple-A gun in Limankara belonging to Harakatul-Muhajiriin claimed to have  engaged a Nigerian AirForce plane between 11:00AM and 11:09AM scoring hits . Today the second day after the Alpha Jet left base and did not return, the Director of Defence Information, Major-Gen Chris Olukolade announced via email to journalists that an Alpha Jet with two pilots is ‘missing’ somewhere over Adamawa, leaving base by 10:45AM on a mission and expected back by 12pm, putting it in the air at the time my source claimed a plane was engaged by anti-aircraft fire.

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29 thoughts on “14TH September 2014 Nigeria SITREP(First Battle Of Konduga)

  1. Fola

    Frankly I don’t know what to make of this latest battle. Rather, I’m quite worried about how emboldened the Boko Haram fighters are…It’s scary! I believe it’s safe to infer from this piece that Bama is still clearly under Boko Haram’s control (partial/full).

    The scale of horror and destruction going in the NE is sadly being under-reported. Thoughts and prayers with the Borno people.


  2. Fola

    Frankly I don’t know what to make of this latest battle. Rather, I’m quite worried about how emboldened the Boko Haram fighters are…It’s scary! I believe it’s safe to infer from this piece that Bama is still clearly under Boko Haram’s control (partial/full). Why is the DHQ/ claiming it’s in control of Bama?
    The scale of horror and destruction going in the NE is sadly being under-reported. Thoughts and prayers with the Borno people.


      1. Yorm

        What a joke…so Pentagon is more reliable than DHQ? Because it is Pentagon troops that are on the ground in Borno? Sometimes as Nigerians we don’t know when we are being insulted. I am also sure that at no point in this article did the writer claim to have been present at the theater of operation..Konduga…his analysis is based on secondary sources. I am aware the the NE is not in the best of shape as most Nigerians are .. but what bothers me is how susceptible we to any Oyibo writer, irrespective of how stupid the analysis could be. let me break it down to you… 100 well armed men could not take over Ikeja GRA…Maiduguri town is almost the size of Lagos state, so i ask you; can 1000 armed men take over Lagos state! We need to develop critical ability to think and analyse information. No matter how inaccurate DHQ may be, they are still more credible than Pentagon. It is DHQ that has troops on ground not Pentagon unless the BH guys are fighters sponsored by Pentagon.


  3. Fola

    A quick question:
    Can the NA+NAF fully retake Bama, Gwoza, Damboa et al without someone appearing at the ICC (ala War Crimes)? I say this because it’s clear reclaiming this places would involve some kind of urban warfare which the NA perhaps may not be trained for. The scorched-earth carpet bombing of Baga by NA/NAF being a case in point.

    I do have a lot of fears on this crisis going in Borno…

    Finally any Intel on claims that Oritsejafor’s plane was involved in the alleged smuggling of $9.3million to South Africa? Any links to Arms purchase or Boko Haram fight/financing? Would love a SITREP on this….Yes I’m an Oliver Twist!!


    1. Oritsejafor says his plane was involved but it was hired one John Ishyaku. Something going on there that we can’t understand yet.

      Any chance of NA and NAF retaking Bama et al? A ranking military officer says after the rains cease and fighting season begins the Army hopes to launch a campaign to take back the area. A SITREP on that is in the works. Also on what I have gathered via limited research on BH financing and weapons will also enter another SITREP. So much backlog of SITREPs that I am trying to write but I keep pushing forward because of the pressures of daily living.

      Will try to roundup these pending SITREPs as soon as possible. Bear with me a while more


  4. Fola

    I’d gladly wait for those entries! Wish you Godspeed!

    I also read reports of another ‘battle for Konduga’ on twitter. Some say upto 400-600 Boko Haram men.


  5. collins

    its totally obvious that fulan is a boko haram sympathizer or you’re actively supporting the cause of that deluded bunch.
    Notice that
    he grudgingly alludes to the withdrawal of BH cadres from
    that botched onslaught but introduces the element of pro-
    insurgent spin by suggesting that 35 soldiers were killed.
    That is intended to have a mollifying effect on pro-
    terrorist sympathisers so that it does not look like the total
    rout which it was for the insurgents.

    you and your kind will rot in the pits of hell


    1. I approved Collins’s comment to let the sane visitors to this blog see the kind of hate mail I receive from moronic individuals who seem to have some sort of ‘us’ against ‘them’ mentality believing that the only honest commentators or the only sensible commentators are those who kiss the black asses of the ruling party and administration in Nigeria. In the book of such moronic creatures, there is nothing like neutral observing or impartial analysis or impartial critiquing. Its either you are pro-Jonathan or anti-Jonathan. Like I made clear on my about page (I think I did), I am not a politician nor am I a party to this conflict except by the virtue or vice if you may of my being of Nigerian origin. If that is not enough for such morons, tough luck!


  6. Fola

    Fulan, please don’t be perturbed by this naive and shallow comment. The tone of your write-ups leaves no honest reader in doubt of your passion and concern for our beloved nation. Nationalist emotions should not be cloud honest and robust analysis.

    In any case, NA fatalities are being underreported and not duly acknowledged. A great disservice to those brave men/women.


  7. Zev Narkiss

    Any truth to the rumour of fighting in Konduga again? Also the new Mi-35 Nigeria is. supposedly buying from Russia have they arrived and will they make much difference in the state of things now?


    1. Cannot confirm what exactly happened at Konduga yet. But what I know so far is there was a bit of a skirmish between insurgent and military elements.

      The new Mi-35s are said to be arriving gradually according to beegeagle.WordPress.com. Will they make a difference, I believe in sufficient numbers they bring serious firepower advantage to the Nigerian side


  8. Yorm

    It is certain that most of the people in tune with your quasi, pseudo expert analysis are of simple mind, just like you. Otherwise, you would not have posted this shallow minded article. Any trained mind in urban warfare, counter insurgency and counter terrorism operations would see how opaque you are in thoughts and analysis.
    You have the luxury of analysis and bogus postulates and not being held accountable for the outcome of either; whether right or wrong but DHQ does not have that luxury, they have real responsibility. Just look at some of your references…beegeagle.WordPress.com…what a joke!


    1. I follow Beegeagele. He does not like me and like many others believe I am a Boko Haram operative. That’s his opinion. I do not like him either but personal preferences have no relationship in the fact that yes he is a patriotic Nigerian and sometimes he has some relevant information I need or want on his blog.

      Condemn me for all you want. Not my business. But if you must call Beegeagle or any other person I quote or reference a joke then please furnish me with what’s funny about them, or the joke is on you.


  9. I awaited the update on the Second and Third Konduga “skirmishes”. I notice you missed out on the triumphant return of NAF/NA into Maiduguri. Any reason? Just wondering.

    Also, I have pictures of the Konduga battle leaders “killed” in the Second battle, and one of them has a striking resemblance with Abu Shekau. The first Shekau killed became a debunked story when his corpse could not be displayed. Why? Because it was stollen!!!!! Do you have an insight?



  10. oladele

    How many years will it take you to confirm that your boko brothers are being disgraced in konduga already. I guess you are waiting for your boko brothers to score another weak point before you start analysing rubbish again.let me help you….they attacked a market in search of food so hunger won’t kill them faster than triple a guns. I dare you to approve this comment.


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