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Bandits Demanding For Cooked Food: Starvation Remains A Powerful Siege Tactic Against Terrorists

It was revealed on Monday that bandits in Kaduna have started demanding cooked food as a ransom for kidnapped victims. This can be attributed to the ban on weekly trading in markets and the ban on the sale of fuel in filling stations located in rural communities. The ban on private motorcycles in the villages has also made life a tad harder for bandits.

File Photo: Bandits

Interesting evolution you can say, from demanding millions to demanding food items to demanding cooked food as ransom payments. Targeted famine is on the rise across certain areas. This phenomenon is concentrated in known insurgent areas and has intensified in recent weeks. To explain these outcomes you need the nature of urban warfare. Urban combat operations favor the defender, and many militaries resort to siege warfare to conquer urban territory.

Starvation remains a powerful siege tactic. Qualitative evidence on all sieges conducted on targeted areas in the northeast/west where majority insurgent activity take place shows how a mixture of kinetic and non-kinetic measure can yield desirable results. Who says insurgent groups have a monopoly on asymmetry? The Nigerian military is utilizing this tactic because it presents a simple yet highly effective mechanism for smoking out the enemy. For insurgents, their operational strategy is identifying soft targets that offer symbolic value to guarantee media attention.

For the Nigerian military urban siege tactics rely on effective target selection, the use of diversionary tactics to lure insurgents to entrap themselves, and deploying small, mobile tactical units, functioning strategically as a collective whole also plays a key role in undertaking siege attacks.

Overall the Nigerian military has demonstrated its highly sophisticated tactical planning, combined with an understanding of the strategic implications of this type of operation. By leveraging the existing vulnerabilities inherent in insurgents operating from locations devoid of the civilian population to hide from government forces, recent developments have exposed the relative ease via which insurgents can be brought to a standstill simply by locating and isolating them.

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