6 reasons they haven’t been defeated


Supporters of the Northern Group Coalition (CNG) A rally in northwestern Katsina, Nigeria, on December 17, 2020, calling on authorities to rescue hundreds of abducted schoolboys.

On December 17, 2020, supporters of the Northern Group Coalition (CNG) urged authorities to rescue hundreds of abducted boys in northwestern Katsina, Nigeria.

The phrase “technically defeated” by Nigerian militant group Boko Haram is becoming more and more hollow.

Seven months after the first term of office in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari created this term, but the group and its sect did not disappear.

The army managed to recapture the territory and expel the fighters from some of their hideouts. However, the recent surge in deadly violence focused on the northeast, where Muslim groups launched a rebellion in 2009, has led many to ask what is at the root of the authorities’ failure.

According to one estimate, there were already nearly 100 attacks this year. Many military bases and towns have runaway, including Geidam and Damasak, the hub of aid workers. Hundreds of people were killed and all weapons, food and medicine were looted.

According to experts, there are six main reasons why Boko Haram was not defeated despite government claims.

1: The root cause has not been addressed

Beacon Consulting security analyst Cavill Adam argues that excessive reliance on military strategies to confront Boko Haram is at the heart of the state’s inability to respond to threats.

“So, unfortunately, almost 11 or 12 years after the rebellion suppression operation, there is still no significant success,” he told the BBC.

“Yes, the army drives out terrorists, but they can still exert influence, so they can recruit, raise funds, get weapons, and they Reorganize. “

Woman standing in front of a thatched hut

Hundreds of thousands have fled their homes in northeastern Nigeria and found shelters in refugee camps.

Experts say that the northeastern people are not sympathetic to Boko Haram and its fragment group, the Islamic State of West Africa, but the negligence and despair of the authorities often puts them in the hands of radicals. Is called.

“In reality, dealing with rebellion and terrorism requires more than military operations. We need to deal with the root cause of the rebellion,” says Adam.

“Unfortunately, we haven’t seen enough effort in that regard.”

He points out the lack of good governance that leaves the population poor, frustrated, and uneducated as “one major root cause.”

There are major government initiatives aimed at accelerating development in the northeast, but little progress has been made.

In addition to military deployment, there are also national terrorism strategies that include economic development and anti-radicalization. However, Mr. Cavill says the strategy does not seem to be fully implemented.

Others, such as Brahmabu Carti, a security analyst at the Tony Blair Institute for Change, have been working with deradration, similar to what was seen in Iraq and Syria when the so-called caliphate of Islamic State groups was dismantled. Claims that there should be a huge surge in.

2: Boko Haram’s recruiting ability

According to experts, the poverty of some endemic diseases in the region and the violent methods of armed groups can continue to recruit generations beyond the generations of fighters.

Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria.  2014-2021.  The 2021 figures cover up to April.

Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria. 2014-2021. The 2021 figures cover up to April.

“People can be hired quickly just to survive,” said security expert Abdullahi Jarwa, citing the problems of unemployment and inadequate governance.

Bukarti emphasizes “a systematic campaign for forced recruitment of young people.”

Borno Governor Babagana Sülm recently told the BBC that armed groups were looking for people who had previously been deported from their homes due to the conflict itself.

3: Lack of equipment

Even when it comes to combat, Adam says there are weapons issues and the military is inadequately equipped.

On July 3, 2019, the military commander will inspect weapons and ammunition recovered from Boko Haram's jihadists on display at the headquarters of the 120th Battalion in Goniri, Yobe, in northeastern Nigeria.

As seen here in 2019, the army has successfully captured some weapons from Boko Haram.

According to a survey by his company, Beacon Consulting, Nigeria has about 6.5 million small and light weapons in circulation, but only 586,000 are in the hands of security forces.

Not all of the rest is used by Islamic extremists, but the numbers emphasize the availability of large numbers of weapons that are not under military control.

Adam also said, “What we are looking at based on evidence is that these are [armed] Unfortunately, the group has a higher caliber of weapons than the military. “

4: Corruption

Corruption may be one of the obstacles to the military in improving equipment. It is suspected that a large amount of money has been put in the pockets of the authorities to strengthen the campaign against Boko Haram.

“Some people seem to be self-sufficient by turning it into a product,” said Yarwa, who may not have been fighting Boko Haram with “honesty.”

In recent years, the military has been hamstrung by the US arms embargo over human rights abuses. President Buhari and his predecessor, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, complained that this was hampering efforts to suppress the rebellion.

However, this was lifted by President Donald Trump in 2018, and as a result Nigeria expects Super Tucano aircraft to be delivered. This should be based on a military air superiority fighter that Adam believes is underutilized.

There are claims that even this advantage has not been successful.

5: Military strategy is not working

Bukarti told the BBC that the militants “understood and adapted the patterns of military airstrikes” and took advantage of the difficult terrain of northeastern Nigeria to avoid military attacks.

Overview of Boko Haram:

Protesters with signs to save schoolgirls

Boko Haram became internationally famous after abducting students at a girls’ school in 2014

  • Established in 2002

  • Initially focused on opposition to Western education

  • Started military operations in 2009

  • Attracted attention in the 2014 kidnapping of Chibok

  • Pledged loyalty to the Islamic state in 2015

  • Divided into two factions in 2016

Who is Boko Haram?

There are other aspects of the strategy that have been criticized.

Over the past year, the military has withdrawn its troops from small bases and focused them on large formations known as supercamps.

This strategy was adopted in early 2020, when soldiers were regularly attacked and weapons were stolen.

But it left a vast area of ​​unprotected rural communities, analysts say.

“There is evidence to suggest an increase in community attacks from the time the supercamp was founded to the present, so apparently the supercamp left the rural community more vulnerable,” Adam said. Insists.

It also devastated the lives of those who depended on fisheries and crop agriculture in northeastern Nigeria, affecting food production.

The military is also hampered by the inability to fill information gathering gaps and information breaches.

This means that sometimes it looks like “armed forces are ahead of the military,” Yalwa says.

The military has challenged this alleged issue.Spokesman Mohammed Yalima recently said, “The military has a high fighting spirit and remains the same. [north-east] Region and Country of Traces of Boko Haram Terrorists “.

6: The influence of Boko Haram is spreading

In addition to the problem of dealing with Boko Haram, the rebellion that was once confined to the northeast seems to be spreading.

Armed criminal gangs in other parts of the country’s northern and central parts Build a connection with the radicals..

Last year, Boko Haram released a video claiming its presence in Niger, far from its normal business domain. So officials issued a statement in March that Boko Haram fighters had invaded a state occupying the forest and attacking the community.

Last December, Army staff member Lieutenant General Yusuf Tukul Bratai suggested that the fight against Boko Haram could continue for another 20 years if the civilian and military approaches were not well coordinated.

Residents in difficult conditions in northeastern Nigeria want no warning.