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Boko Haram: A Growing Regional Problem

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on February 16, 2016

Africa Research Associate Mike Rettig speaks with CBC Radio on the regional dimension of the Boko Haram problem. His segment begins at 15:33. – Listen to the interview – – Read the transcript –

Boko Haram: An Evolving Emergency

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on February 9, 2016

Regional forces have begun to constrain Boko Haram, but tensions and a lack of coordination have hampered progress. On Capitol Hill, Africa Center Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Raymond Gilpin dissects the issue.

Asymmetric Warfare: Reflections on the Responses of Security Forces to Boko Haram Insurgency in Northern Nigeria

Recommended research   published by Osumah Oarhe, Ambrose Alli University, Nigeria, in the Africa Peace and Conflict Journal on June 30, 2015

The Nigerian government has undertaken a range of actions to combat Boko Haram’s asymmetric insurgency in the country’s northeast: roadblocks, raids, surveillance, patrols, and deradicalization. Nearly all have followed an enemy-centric rather than population-centric approach, despite the fact that many of the factors constraining success are tied directly to the security forces’ operational capacity. For instance, poor coordination, inability to effectively deliver appropriated funds and equipment, enemy penetration, and porous borders all hindered successful counter-enemy actions. However, if Nigeria had instead emphasized a population-centric approach to counterinsurgency, it is possible that such efforts would not have faced as many headwinds.

Fundamental Security Challenges Nigeria Must Face, Part 4: Boko Haram

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on April 17, 2015

Part 1: Identity Part 2: Faultlines Part 3: Extremism Part 4: Boko Haram Part 5: Strategies for combating extremism Part 6: Military professionalism Part 7: Maritime security Part 8: Governance Boko Haram emerged in 2002 in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State in Nigeria’s Northeast Region. Initially organized as a sect under the leadership of... Continue Reading

Why Do Youth Join Boko Haram?

Recommended research   published by Freedom C. Onuoha, United States Institute of Peace on June 30, 2014

Boko Haram has been able to conduct its operations largely due to its ability to recruit young men. This recruitment is spurred by poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and weak family structures that make young men susceptible to radicalization. Extreme religious teachings by imams act as the final stimulus. The Nigerian government should address the conditions that... Continue Reading

Boko Haram Reveals Complex Divisions within Nigeria, Scholars Say at Africa Center Roundtable

Spotlight   published by Serge Yondou on December 18, 2013

The multifaceted nature of militant groups in northern Nigeria such as Boko Haram, as well as a lack of clear understanding of the factors that drive regional extremism, reflects larger aspects of Nigeria’s struggle for unity, a panel of scholars told the audience at a roundtable organized by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on... Continue Reading

Boko Haram’s Evolving Threat

Africa Security Brief No. 20   published by J. Peter Pham on April 30, 2012

A surge in large-scale attacks over the past year by Nigerian Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram presents a serious threat to stability in West Africa’s most populous state and the world’s sixth largest oil exporter. The group has successfully expanded its geographic reach, mastered new sophisticated tactics, and targeted symbols of international presence in Nigeria.... Continue Reading

The Illicit Superhighway: Transnational Organized Crime in Africa

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on May 22, 2017

The distinction between legitimate and illicit business in Africa is fluid due to the significant size of informal trade on the continent. At the same time, globalization has allowed organized criminal groups to link up with international networks, including violent extremists.

Map of Africa’s Militant Islamic Groups

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on April 26, 2017

A review of attacks by militant Islamist groups in Africa over the past year reveals considerable variation and a geographic concentration.

ISIS’s Future in Africa after Iraq and Syria

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on March 20, 2017

ISIS has affirmed its intention to expand operations into Africa, but a review of militant group activity on the continent suggests that it will be challenged to do so.

ISIS in Africa: Implications from Syria and Iraq

Spotlight   published by Joseph Siegle on March 17, 2017

As ISIS’s influence and territorial control in the Arab world have waned, so too have its reputation and ideological appeal in Africa, writes the Africa Center’s Joseph Siegle.