Aus­tralian special forces join the fight against Boko Haram in Africa

Aus­tralian special forces join the fight against Boko Haram in Africa, by Rory Callinan.

Australian troops have been on the ground in Africa training soldiers to fight Boko Haram, the ­Islamic extremist group notorious for its kidnapping of nearly 300 schoolgirls.

The US military has confirmed the presence of Aus­tralian special forces carrying out the training as part of an exercise dubbed Flintlock, which commenced on February 27 in Niger in central Africa.

The Defence Department had not made any official announcement about the Diggers being in Niger until questioned by The Australian yesterday, despite the US and Canada making public statements about their own soldiers’ role.

An Australian flag featured prominently on a banner at the special forces training camp in Diffa. “Exercice Multinational Flintlock Diffa 2017, Autralie, Bel­gicue, Canada, Etats-Unis, Niger,” the banner read. …

Defence last night confirmed a small contingent of Australian Special Operations Command personnel had participated in Flintlock. A spokesman said it was the second time Australians had taken part in the exercises. He described it as being “part of our regular international training engagements. Such engagements allow the participants to broaden their professional experience and knowledge,’’ he said.

Wow. Nowadays we don’t even get to find out where our soldiers are training and fighting, but find out through odd channels like this. It’s as if there is a global police force, and we public are just meant to shut up and fund it.