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Boko Haram Essay

3012 words - 13 pages

Nigeria: Boko Haram’s insurgency
Standard Note: Last updated: Author: Section SN06920 19 June 2014 Jon Lunn International Affairs and Defence Section

In the northeast of Nigeria, an Islamist terrorist insurgency continues to rage. This insurgency is now regularly extending into other parts of the country. At the head of the insurgency is Boko Haram, which calls for the introduction of Sharia law and an Islamic state across the whole of Nigeria. There has been a state of emergency in the three northeastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa since mid-2013. Human rights groups have reported serious abuses by Boko Haram but also by the notorious Nigerian security unit known as the Joint Task ...view middle of the document...

The UK Government announced further training and intelligence assistance to the Nigerian military, as well as an increase in its aid to education.

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1 2 3 4 5 Boko Haram steps up its insurgency Regional and international responses The London conference on Nigeria The wider domestic context Further reading 2 3 4 5 6


Boko Haram steps up its insurgency

In the northeast of Nigeria, an Islamist terrorist insurgency continues to rage. This insurgency is now regularly extending into other parts of the country. At the head of the insurgency is Boko Haram, which calls for the introduction of Sharia law and an Islamic state across the whole of Nigeria. There has been a state of emergency in the three northeastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa since mid-2013. Human rights groups have reported serious abuses by Boko Haram but also by the notorious Nigerian security unit known as the Joint Task Force. The government has been predominantly committed to a security-based solution to the problem. In recent months, Boko Haram has further stepped up its violence. How to respond now dominates the domestic political scene in Nigeria. There were major bomb attacks in the capital, Abuja, in both April and May. Boko Haram has also captured international attention through its kidnapping on 14 April of about 270 schoolgirls in the small town of Chibok, Borno State (around 50 reportedly subsequently escaped). Well over 2000 people are estimated to have died in attacks by the group since the beginning of 2014. The Nigerian authorities have been heavily criticised both at home and abroad for their ineffective response to the crisis. There have been claims by Amnesty International and others that the authorities had advance-warning about the attack on Chibok but failed to act. Attacks on schools have become a staple of Boko Haram; for example, in July 2013 46 schoolboys were killed in an attack in the same part of Nigeria. The apparently poor state of the Nigerian army is a big topic of debate in Nigeria. Many believe that the military lacks counter-terrorism expertise and has lost significant capability over the past decade as civilian governments have reduced spending on defence. The military’s...

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