For most people in the civilized world, a horse is a creature typically associated with peaceful activities, like gambling, or entertaining small children at birthday parties, or making glue. Unfortunately, that's not the case for the people of northeastern Nigeria, where the Islamic State-allied rebel group Boko Haram has begun raiding remote villages on horseback, slaughtering and kidnapping civilians in droves.
The Nigerian army’s solution: ban the use of horses for transportation. “We know that only the terrorists will flaunt this ban and our troops will take the appropriate action when they come across such terrorists in accordance with the rules of engagement,” military spokesman Colonel Tukur Gusau told the AFP on Tuesday. In other words, anyone caught riding a horse in the area will likely find themselves on the wrong end of a machine gun.
The ban comes on the heels of recent battlefield gains made by the Nigerian military, which claims to have severed some of Boko Haram's key supply lines, including ones used to traffic fuel. That has forced the gun-toting militants to rely more heavily on horses to carry out attacks. Whether or not the ban will ultimately succeed in vanquishing the six-year insurgency remains to be seen, but at this point anything seems worth a shot.