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n Ubuntu : Journal of Conflict and Social Transformation - The Boko Haram Conflict : a re-evaluation

Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 2078-760X
  • E-ISSN: 2050-4950

Abstract

Boko Haram has been a major security challenge to the Nigerian state, especially in the northeastern part of the country since the sect's radicalization in 2010. The sect evolved from being a ragtag terrorist group that focused on soft targets via suicide bombing into a sophisticated group that was able to overrun the military and police for weapons and engage the Nigerian army in conventional battles. By January 2015 the sect had succeeded in establishing amini Islamic state that controlled about 20,000 square miles of territory - an area the size of Belgium. Though the Buhari government claim to have degraded the ability of the sect to take territories, there is no doubt that the group still poses a threat with some even challenging the government's claims that it has recaptured all the towns previously held by the group. This article re-evaluates the conspiracy and 'scientific' theories used to explain the emergence and radicalization of Boko Haram in the light of its continued resilience under the Buhari government. It also examines other lessons to be learned from the sect's continued resilience and poses the question of whether Boko Haram has actually been defeated as claimed by the government or whether the relative lull in its activities is because it has done a tactical retreat in order to regroup as it did in at least three previous occasions.

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/content/aa_ubuntu/5/2/EJC199901
2016-01-01
2019-11-20

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