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Factional Dynamics within Boko Haram

Recommended research   published by Omar S Mahmood and Ndubuisi Christian Ani on July 6, 2018

In August 2016, Boko Haram split as a result of the internal divisions surrounding the succession of militant Abubakar Shekau as leader of the group, and a debate over whether Muslim civilians can be targeted.

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

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

Support for Boko Haram among some of northern Nigeria’s marginalized Muslim communities suggests that security actions alone will be insufficient to quell the instability.

A Review of Major Regional Security Efforts in the Sahel

Infographic   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on March 4, 2019

Increased attacks from militant Islamist groups in the Sahel coupled with cross-border challenges such as trafficking, migration, and displacement have prompted a series of regional and international security responses.

Security Priorities for the New Nigerian Government

Spotlight   published by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies on February 25, 2019

From Boko Haram to farmer-herder conflicts, ethno-religious tensions, separatist movements, urban crime, and national identity, Nigeria experts size up the security priorities facing the Buhari government in its second term.

The Ever-Adaptive Allied Democratic Forces Insurgency

Spotlight   published by Paul Nantulya on February 8, 2019

The ADF, one of the least understood militant groups in the Great Lakes, has endured for over 20 years by instrumentalizing Islamist, ethnic, and secessionist ideologies to recruit and forge new alliances.

An Overview of Africa’s 2019 Elections

Spotlight   published by Joseph Siegle on January 31, 2019

The struggle to institutionalize legitimate and resilient democracies in Africa will be further shaped by the 2019 elections – with direct consequences for security.