Boko Haram Insurgency


Overview

As of 2018, Boko Haram was the most-deadly terrorist group in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the fourth most deadly in the world, per the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). The jihadist group aims to establish a caliphate in northern Nigeria, without “Western” practices such as secular education and democracy. Boko Haram began as an Islamic center and school in
Maiduguri, founded in 2002 by Mohammed Yusuf, a well-known Salafi preacher. In 2009, Boko Haram staged an uprising in which Yusuf was killed, and leadership passed to hardliner Abubakar Shekau. Boko Haram has dealt with substantial infighting over the years, with factions sometimes seceding (e.g. al Qaeda-backed Ansaru in 2012, and IS’ affiliated ISWAP in 2016). Since 2011, Boko Haram has killed 39,249 people throughout the Lake Chad Basin region. While violence has decreased since its height in 2014, Boko Haram remains a significant threat. The conflict has killed 2,041 people in 2020 thus far.

Additionally, ongoing conflict has severely damaged civilians’ welfare. Boko Haram is known to attack health centers, and as of 2017 only half of Borno’s health centers were functional. Notably, a major source of Boko Haram’s income comes from kidnapping and holding aid workers for ransom. The group also profits from looting during attacks, as well as through its control of resources (e.g. fishing grounds around Lake Chad). Such actions greatly exacerbate environmental strife in the region, where Lake Chad—a vital resource for much of the population—has diminished by 90 percent since the 1960s. Overall, conflict and climate change have left 2.3 million people displaced, 5 million food insecure, and 500,000 children acutely malnourished (per the UNHRC in 2019). These issues are all worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn. 

Surprisingly, considering its horrific violence, Boko Haram leaders present the group as a victim of the Nigerian state. While Boko Haram is hardly a victim, this narrative makes more sense when contextualized within Nigeria’s extensive history of interreligious issues. As Harvard’s Religious Literacy Project details, Britain’s colonial policies encouraged tension within the Muslim community, and between Muslims and Christians. Britain greatly favored the majority-Christian south over the predominately Muslim North. Economically, southern Nigeria fared far better than the North, where Indirect Rule created a system in which ethnic and religious identity determined access to resources. Overall, the colonial period fostered significant ethnoreligious tensions that would later be seen in Nigeria’s civil war and the Maitatsine riots of the 1980s. In this context, Boko Haram frames its violent attacks as a response to Christians’ persecution of Muslims over the decades. 

Historically, Nigeria has dealt with instances of inter-religious violence through force, neglecting other aspects of reconciliation. Scholars such as Alexander Thurston argue that grievances were never fully addressed and perpetrators were not held accountable, preventing true reconciliation.  Similarly, today Nigeria and the rest of the Multinational Joint Task Force member countries (Niger, Chad, and Cameroon) have primarily dealt with Boko Haram in terms of military victories. While they have made some progress—Chadian forces’ operations abroad have been particularly effective—Boko Haram remains notoriously resilient. The group’s presence in northeastern Nigeria is strengthening, per the CFR, and Ansuru and ISWAP have reportedly aligned with bandits in northwestern Nigeria. To combat Boko Haram, the Nigerian government increasingly relies on militia groups. Unfortunately, as the Brookings institute explains, these militias are likely to contribute to further instability.

Additionally, there are numerous abuse allegations against Nigeria’s military, further weakening the government’s relationship with communities in northern Nigeria. Notably, in 2018, Amnesty International reported that Nigerian soldiers forced women fleeing Boko Haram to “trade sex for food.” Further, Nigeria faces major issues with its treatment of terrorism suspects. The Institute for Security Studies’ (ISS) May 2020 report alleged numerous cases of arbitrary arrest, unlawful detention, and conviction without adequate evidence. A 2019 Human Rights Watch (HRW) report alleged that the Nigerian government has arrested thousands of children (some as young as five years-old) with ties to Boko Haram. Going forward, the relationship between local communities and security forces must be strengthened, and trust in authorities rebuilt.

Current Situation

Boko Haram’s attacks have further obstructed the region’s accessibility, exacerbating humanitarian issues in the region. A growing number of IDPs face poor living standards and limited economic opportunity. While Borno’s governor has pushed for their return home, there are still significant risks; hundreds of returnees were kidnapped recently. Additionally, Boko Haram is reportedly trying to expand into Nigeria’s Northwest and aligning with local bandits.

Classification: Insurgency

 

Trend:

Stagnant

Facts

Where: Lake Chad Basin

  • Nigeria (predominately Borno State, northeastern Nigeria); Chad (Lac Province), Cameroon (Far North region), Niger (Diffa region)
  • Overall, the majority of violence has occurred in Nigeria (70% of attacks and 80% of fatalities). However, in 2019, 50.6% of attacks occurred outside of Nigeria (ACLED)
  • Some evidence of expansion into northwestern Nigeria (Jamestown Foundation)

Members: Estimated 15,000 (Amnesty International, 2015)

Factions:  Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’adati wal-Jihad,  Islamic State West Africa Province,  Ansaru

Events: 4,440 (ACLED) 

Deaths: 39,283 (CFR)

Kidnapped: At least 2,000 (Amnesty International 2015)

People in Urgent Need of Humanitarian Aid: 10.6 million, up 2.7 million since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic (UNHCR 2020)

Lake Chad Basin Background Information:

Population: estimated 30 million (UN 2019), 17.4 million living in most affected areas (Plan International)

Major Economic Sectors: 80-90% of the population work in agriculture, fisheries, and livestock (FAO 2017)

  • Herder-farmer conflict is intensifying, as climate change causes land and water resources to dwindle.

Key actors

Who are they: Boko Haram is an Islamist militant group originally formed in northeast Nigeria but carries out deadly attacks in towns bordering the Lake Chad Basin countries;Cameroon, Chad and Niger. The official name of the group is Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati Wal-Jihad meaning “People Committed to the Prorogation of the Prophet’s Teaching and Jihad”, as such the group seeks to establish a caliphate. Their methods include raiding villages and forcing them to be under their control as well as bombing Christians/churches.

Causes of Boko Haram formation

The presumed fundamental root causes of Boko Haram’s formation include, 1) historically deep religious and ethnic cleavages, 2) political struggle between the South and the North, and 3) unequal distribution of wealth and corruption. In 2016, Boko Haram pledged their allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and rebranded themselves as the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP). Boko Haram controls four of the ten zones in Borno state, according to security analysts and anonymous federal official.

Target: Everyone is a target of Boko Haram attacks. They have targeted government and military posts, schools, churches, mosques, and other soft targets such as villages, public markets and transportation centres.  Their attacks predominantly use suicide bombings, kidnappings, armed assaults and destruction of property.

Goal of Boko Haram

Its goal is to overthrow secular governments, cut their ties with the West and destroy the social and political order of the Lake Chad region.

Finances: According to Crisis Group, Boko Haram during the reign of the founder Sheikh Yusuf was receiving funds from al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. Currently, their funding comes from local extortion and protection money, possible bank robberies, kidnappings for ransom, and unknown foreign donations. Boko Haram is accused of benefiting from illegal fishing along Lake Chad, where all fishing is outlawed. They have also set up roadblocks to collect taxes from vehicles and persons walking through checkpoints in places not authorized by the government.

Fighters: Due to the secrecy of this group, the strength of the troop are estimated between 4000 and 10,000. The numbers have remained high and unclear because of the frequent abduction of young boys. Young girls and women have also been forced to carry out suicide bombings as they cannot be suspected.

Structure: Whether BH’s structure is centralized or decentralized is still a secret. Speculators presume, operationally, BH is governed by the Emir, or leader. He is supported by a Shura or council of 30 people. The council then sends directions to at least 50–60 fragmented separate cells which have the freedom to operate as they wish, as long as they deliver based on the general directive from the Shura.

Internal problems: Internal strife in Boko Haram has led to the creation of several splinter groups. In January 2012, Khalid al-Barnawi and his group Ansaru splintered from Boko Haram. It is reported that the splintering was a result of disagreement on the targeting of civilians, with Khalid Barwani advocating for western and high-profile targets. Khalid was arrested in April 2016 by Nigerian forces.

Abubakar Shekau is the current leader of Boko Haram. Not much information is known about his background – including his age and road to radicalisation. He was born in Shekau village in Yobe state, Northern Nigeria. He became the leader after the founder Yusuf, suspiciously died under police custody in 2009. Shekau’s leadership consists of uncountable raids and suicide bombings which have killed tens of thousands.

Additionally, he transformed the group into an insurgent movement with territory throughout the Lake Chad Basin region. Moreover, he connected the local jihadist movement to the global movement by declaring their allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. He has hardly been seen in public but his images, audios and video clips are published by the radical group online.

In March 2015, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau pledged his allegiance to Al-Baghdadi and Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Following the pledge, Boko Haram transformed to Islamic State West Africa (ISWA). By 2016, internal struggle between Boko Haram leader and another high-ranking leader, Sheikh Abu Musab al-Barnawi caused a split. ISIS sided with al-Barawni, who is reported to be a son of the founder of Boko Haram Yusuf, declaring him the leader of Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) in an official publication. Shekau rejected the appointment signalling the official split between Boko Haram and ISWAP.

Who are they? ISWAP have retained support from the local population, as they have not been conducting attacks that have led to the loss of lives in the Muslim community, unlike Boko Haram. Currently, the group is focused on consolidating and extending its networks rather than establishing undisputed territorial control.

Where they operate: In 2018 ISWAP become a lethal force by carrying out raids in military barracks in Nigeria and Niger to get guns and ammunition to sustain their operations. They have also engaged in direct combat with US forces in Niger.

Support: ISWAP’s greatest influence is on the banks and islands of Lake Chad, which provides some protection from aerial attacks. They enjoy support in parts of northern Borno countryside.

Target: ISWAP has been targeting military installations as a way to sustain its insurgency. Though they operate within the Lake Chad region, the Nigerian military has suffered the most.

Finances: Several sources of income sustain its insurgency in the Lake Chad region. It’s believed that money from ISIS has made its way to ISWAP through the Middle East. The stream of money from ISIS headquarter stopped as ISIS started to experience more pressure. The group also taxes those who live under their protection or pass through their checkpoints.

Fighters: According to Crisis Group, it estimated the group consists of about 3000 – 5000 fighters. It’s presumed that defectors from Ansaru and other jihadists formerly operating from Mali have become fighters.

Structure: Abu Abdullah Ibn Umar al-Barnawi was appointed as the leader in March 2019. His appointment is questionable because Abu Mus’ab al-Barnawi, the first leader is still alive. Details of his personal background is unknown.

The Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF) is a military force that was created in 1994 when insecurity in the Lake Chad Basin worsened due to armed banditry, arms trafficking and border intrusion along the Nigeria border with Chad. The initial mandate was to conduct a military operation in the region while facilitating the free movement of people within the subregion. However, ruthless BH attacks made the MJTF to broaden its mandate including the fight against terrorism in April 2012. The headquarters of the Taskforce is in Chad. The African Union approved this task force and they have over 9000 troops. The national forces of troop-contributing countries tend to operate independently and under their own national command structures rather than with the consultative direction of the Nigerian Generals in charge of Task Force.

Countries part of MJTF: Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Cameroon, and Benin

Nigeria: The Nigerian government has suffered majority of all the casualties caused by BH. Since 2013, the Nigerian military, sometimes in coordination with the MJTF, have successfully rescued kidnapped people and child soldiers. In addition, they have recaptured some towns and villagers under Boko Haram’s control. Achieving previous plans of defeating BH by 2015 and bringing back the kidnapped Chibok girls were not materialized. Human Rights groups have condemned the government for carrying out extrajudicial killings and torture on suspected or arrested BH fighters. After 10years of consistent battles with BH, the Nigerian military is battling with internal resource and personnel challenges. With old weaponry and vehicles, military commanders have been accused of using ineffective strategies. The Nigerian government has allocated nearly 80 million dollars each quarter to fight Boko Haram and ISWAP.

Chad: The increased attacks by Boko Haram on Chadian soil ensured that the government tightened their terrorism laws in 2015. As a result, Boko Haram militants who were found guilty were executed and the wearing of burqas or full veils were banned because of a series of female suicide bombings. Niger and Cameroon have also approved similar measures.

Cameroon: Due to the increase of Boko Haram suicide bombings and hit-and-run attacks in Northern Cameroon, the Cameroonian military responded with excessive force against suspected Boko Haram militants. According to human rights organisations, the Cameroonian army allegedly tortured and executed Boko Haram suspects without due process. In extreme cases, they are accused of killing villagers who were suspected to be Boko Haram sympathisers. In other fronts, the Cameroonian military has formed and funded local militia groups to support with the community policing in Boko Haram affected areas.

The United Nations role in the fight against Boko Haram has primarily been via providing humanitarian aid in areas within the Lake Chad Basin. The funding for the humanitarian crisis comes from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which provides lifesaving assistance to at least 250,000 people in Northeast Nigeria and 200,000 people in Chad. UN efforts in the region are usually coordinated through the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS). UNOWAS mandate is to “support, as appropriate, the states of the Lake Chad Basin region to address the impact of the threat of peace and security, including the political, socioeconomic and humanitarian situation in the subregion.”

 

In 2015, then US president Barack Obama notified US Congress he intends to deploy 300 troops to Cameroon to conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations as part of the counter Boko Haram effort. The support from the US has sometimes been halted due to the concerns of human rights abuses by the Nigerian military. After news broke about the kidnapping of the Chibok girls, the US, as well as France and the UK, pledged additional assistance, including equipment and intelligence support, to assist not only with finding the kidnapped girls but in general the fight against Boko Haram. By 2016, the US had provided over $400 million to Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin countries.

Abbreviated as CJTF, this is a loose local group of militants (consisting of civilians) that was formed in Maiduguri, located in Nigeria’s Borno and Yobe States. Their aim is to reduce the number of attacks from Boko Haram in their state.

Group Structure

The entire number of this vigilante group is estimated to over 26,000, including female members. With limited and basic weaponry, they are determined to stop more attacks from Boko Haram. According to The Economist, Mohammed JaaFar, is one of the commanders of the CJTF. Only 1,800 members receive a salary ($50 per month) and most work as volunteers.

Actions of the CJTF

There are unknown reports of how effective their counter-terrorism actions have been for the civilians, but they have been accused of beating men and man slaughtering. It is also reported they diverted food destined for poor starving families.

Timeline of the crisis

The roots of Boko Haram are traced back to the early 2000s when the founder of the extremist group, Sheikh Muhammad Yusuf, formed Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati Wal-Jihad. Between 2000-2006, Sheikh was being advised by his mentor Ja’afar Muhmud Adam but had a public disagreement. Analysists and locals alike have long speculated that the assassination of Ja’afar in 2006 was under the orders of Yusuf. Sheikh Yusuf’s reign was short lived as he was killed while in police custody in 2009. The death of Yusuf brought the horrific reign of Abubakar Shekau, the current leader of Boko Haram, despite multiple claims from the Nigerian government about his death.

The first known attack by Boko Haram includes roughly 200 militants, who attack multiple police stations in the state of Yobe, near the Niger border.

The initial stages of the Boko Haram uprising involved the targeted killings of police officers in Bauchi state in Nigeria. The attacks spread to Borno, Kano and Yobe states in Nigeria.

Boko Haram members are allegedly killed during the operation. Additionally, the military destroyed structures associated with the insurgent group such as mosques. During the government response, the police arrest Boko Haram leader Shiekh Yusuf, who then suspiciously dies in police custody. According to the police, Sheikh Yusuf was shot while he tried to escape from police custody. When he was brought to the police station, he was visibly injured on the arm but otherwise looked healthy. Shortly afterwards, the police announced his death. Boko Haram maintains that he was an assassination by the police. 

The announcement from Boko Haram that Abubakar Shekau is the new leader came as a surprise since it was previously reported that he had died during the Boko Haram uprising

50 Boko Haram militants armed with machine guns breached the perimeters of jail in Bauchi, freeing 700 inmates. One hundred fifty released inmates are believed to be members of the organisation. In the process of freeing the prisoners, one soldier, one police officer and two residents were killed while six others are in critical condition.

Coordinated attacks using around 70 suspected Boko Haram militants kill eight people, including four police officers, in Damboa, Borno State, near the border with Chad. They targeted a police station, a police barrack and a bank

An explosives-laden car crashed through two security barriers and rammed into the reception before exploding in the UN compound in Abuja. The attack resulted in the deaths of 23 people and injuring another 60. This attack was significant since the UN compound is in the diplomatic area of the city, where other high profile potential targets like the US embassy are located.

Boko Haram militants, using VIEDs, IEDs and armed assault, targeted security forces and their offices, public markets and 11 charges. More than 100 people were killed.

In January 2012, Khalid al-Barnawi and his group Ansaru splintered from Boko Haram. The splintering was reportedly due to disagreement on the targeting of civilians, with Khalid Barwani advocating for western and high-profile targets. Khalid was arrested in April 2016 by Nigerian forces. 

A coordinated Boko Haram attack targeting the police and military, prison and others results in the deaths of 200 people in the city of Kano, Nigeria. Per the Human Rights Watch, this attack is the most deadly since July 2009.

Using three bombs, Boko Haram attacked churches in Kaduna, Wusasa and Sabon Gari killing 12 and wounding 80 others. As a result of the attack, locals began targeting Muslims in the area. Red Cross officials stated that they had recovered at least 20 bodies.

Militants claiming to have allegiance to Boko Haram kidnap a French family of seven at the National Park in Northern Cameroon. Boko Haram releases a video later demanding that the Nigerian and Cameroon governments release jailed members. The family was released less than two months later, unharmed.

The circumstances of what happened in Baga village are unclear since the residents of the village and the military have different accounts. Before the attack on the village, Boko Haram engaged government forces at a military post outside Baga, killing one soldier. The residents of the village say that the government forces, upon arrival, began setting their homes on fire.

Some of the residents drowned in Lake Chad while escaping from the military forces. By the end, known as the Baga massacre, more than 200 people were killed and hundreds more injured. More than 2000 homes and businesses were destroyed. According to the military’s account, only 6 civilians and 30 Boko Haram militants were killed and only 30 thatched houses were burned down. They claim that Boko Haram’s weapons set the homes on fire. Based on a satellite image analysed by Human Rights Watch, at least 2275 buildings were damaged and another 125 severely damaged.

The confrontation between Boko Haram and the Lake Chad Basin multinational security leads to death of over 200 people, including civilians. Boko Haram quickly releases a video claiming that they are not responsible for the civilian deaths

Boko Haram gunmen attacked a government-run boarding school in Mamudo Village in Yobe state, Nigeria, killing 42 people. Most of the dead were students who either died from gunshots or from being burnt alive. Six students were found later hiding in the bushes.

Nigerian military announces they have rescued women and children hostages from Boko Haram in the Bulabulin Ngarnam area, one of their strongholds, in Maiduguri. In the process of saving the hostages, several militants were killed, according to the military.

According to an intelligence report, Boko Haram leader, Shekau, was shot on 30th June during a raid in Sambisa forest, one of their strongholds. The report claims that he died weeks later.

In a video message, a man who appears to be Shekau claims the news about his death is false. He claims the person the government killed is an imposter

In another school massacre, Boko Haram gunmen target the College of Agriculture in Gujba, Yobe State, Nigeria. In a night-time raid, they targeted the male sleeping quarters. The majority of the dead students were Muslims.

A French priest, Father Georges Vandenbeusch, was kidnapped by 15 gunmen from his church in Nguetchewe, Cameroon. It is reported that he was able to alert the French embassy before he was abducted. He is released a month later.

In a predominantly Christian village, Boko Haram militants dressed in military gear raided a village in Konduga, Borno state. The day-long massacre resulted in the death of 121 people

The kidnapping of the adolescent girls caused worldwide outrage, and as a result, the #bringbackourgirls social media campaign began. Henceforth, the kidnapped girls are referred to as the Chibok girls.

On May 5, Boko Haram leader, Shekau, announces that he is planning to sell off the kidnapped girls

In a 12-hour attack, Boko Haram militants armed with AK-47s and RPGs raid Gamboru and Ngala towns in Borno state killing at least 300 people. By the time the militants left the town, the town was largely destroyed with most of the survivors fleeing to Cameroon.

Twin vehicle bombings at a crowded bus terminal and market in Jos, Plateau state, Nigeria claimes the lives of 118 people. The city of Jos is a predominantly Christian city that had seen very few attacks from Boko Haram

In a mission to support the international efforts, the US sends 80 troops to Chad to help with search efforts for the abducted Chibok girls. Most of the US personnel are Air Force crew member, maintenance specialists and security officers for unarmed Predator surveillance drones, not boots on the ground.

UNSC’s al-Qaida Sanctions Committee approved the decision to add Boko Haram into its list of individuals and entities subjected to the targeted financial sanctions and arms embargo list,

The Gwoza massacre happened when Boko Haram militants, dressed in military uniform, stormed a predominantly Christian village in Gwoza, killing at least 300 people. Some reports place the death toll between 400 and 500. Due to the tough terrain and poor cellular connection, it took several days for information about the attack to reach the provincial capital of Maiduguri.

Suspected Boko Haram militants kidnap 20 girls and women from Garkin Village. The new abduction site is mere 8 km from where the Chibok schoolgirls were taken

During those four days where the village of Kummabza was captured, Boko Haram abducts at least 60 women and girls and kill 30 men. 57 out of the 60 kidnapped women and girls escape 17 days later.

The Nigerian army claims that Shekau has been killed by Cameroonian military during a Boko Haram attempted capture of Kodunga, a village in Borno state, Nigeria. The Cameroonian military supports the claim by releasing a photo of the slain leader on social media. This is the third time that the Nigerian military has claimed that Shakau has been killed.

In a video message, Shekau mocks the allegations from the military that he has been killed.

Following a month-long negotiation process between the two parties, allegedly Boko Haram agreed to release the Chibok girls. The government spokesperson said that the kidnapped girls would not be released all at once, but a significant number would be released.

In a video message, Shekau says that the ceasefire agreement with the government had never been reached. Additionally, the video message announced that the Chibok girls had converted to Islam and married off. Moreover, the video stated that Boko Haram will find and kill the unknown person negotiating with the government on their behalf.

A government spokesperson responded to the video, saying that the government is doing everything to verify the claims in the video.

On 3rd January, Boko Haram militants captured the town of Baga and overran the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) guarding the town. According to MNJTF, the militants attacked their headquarters in the town from all directions. During the battle between the two forces, thousands of villagers fled the area. As the battle for Baga continued, Boko Haram militants began targeting civilians directly. Within the five day raid, at least 100 people were murdered and hundreds more injured. Additionally, hundreds of homes were destroyed. According to local and independent reports, at least 35,000 people have fled the region.

In an allegiance video, Boko Haram declares that they are now called the Islamic State of West Africa.

In the audio message, ISIS spokesperson says that the Islamic caliphate has extended to West Africa

A joint Nigerian-Chadian military operation freed Damasak from Boko Haram, who had controlled the town since November 2014. Upon a tour of the town to assess the level of destruction, the mass graves were found.

The military announced that the rescued women and girls are not the Chibok girls. The 234 rescued women join the 216 women and girls rescued earlier in the week. This new push is to save the 2000 women and girls abducted by Boko Haram, based on Amnesty International records.

Gen. Tukur Buratai, the Acting Chief of Army Staff, announced the launch of “Operation Lafiya Dole” as a way to tackle Boko Haram activities in Nigeria. The operation increased military presence in northeastern Nigeria.

Idriss Deby, the president of Chad, announced that the Boko Haram leader has been killed and replaced by another deputy. He claimed that the new leader, Mahamat Daoud, is open to peace talks. It is unclear how the Chadian president obtained the information. Previous to this, there were rumours that he was on the run or even fled Nigeria altogether as a result of increased military operations against the militant group.

Following the messages from the Chadian president regarding the death of Boko Haram, in an audio message, Shekua disproves the claims that he is dead and that he has been replaced.

 A Boko Haram attack on a crowded market and infirmary near a military camp in Kerawa, Cameroon results in the death of 30 people and another 145 injured

The military operation occurred in Jangurori and Bulatori villages in north-eastern Nigeria where the Boko Haram’s camps were destroyed entirely following the recovery of people and weapons. Out of the 43 arrested militants, one was a local leader, Bulama Modu, who the military claims is the Boko Haram Emir, or leader, of Bulakuri village.

Mohammed Mamman Nur, as well as Mustapha Chad, have been designated as terrorists by the US Treasury. Nur is a senior Boko Haram leader who helped organise the suicide bombing of the UN compound in Abuja. He is believed to have funded two unspecified suicide attacks in late April 2012. He allegedly operates in coordination with SDGT al-Qaida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb. He was briefly detained but escaped from prison when members of Boko Haram stormed the prison. Mustapha Chad is Chadian national part of the advisory council of the militant group. He directed attacks in Yobe state in Northern Nigeria and spearheaded a 2013 offensive to take over Maiduguri, Nigeria but failed.

In a BBC interview, President of Nigeria, Mohammad Buhari states that Boko Haram cannot “conventionally attack” security forces or population centres. He added that the group mostly uses IED to wage their war. Also, he stated that Boko Haram has only a small force left, operating in the heartland of Borno state. He finished the interview by saying that “technically we have won the war because people are going back into their neighbourhood.” These comments from the president aimed to make the Nigerian army and the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to look like their counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations have been effective. This was not the case; Boko Haram, although still heavily relying on unconventional ways to battle the military, i.e. IEDs, is still a force to reckon with.

Two Boko Haram suicide bombers kill four people at a school in Northern Cameroon. The school was partially targeted due to the high number of Nigerian refugees. Three days before this incident, a Boko Haram suicide bomber blew themselves up at an outdoor market in Kerawa, northern Cameroon killing 32 and wounding 66. The attack was the worst Boko Haram attack in Cameroon.

The two female suicide bombers were between the ages of 17 and 20. The camp they attacked was sheltering Nigerian escaping from Boko Haram’s devastation. Reports claim that there was a third female suicide bomber who did not blow themselves up after she realised that her family was also at the camp. The third female would-be suicide bomber was arrested and confessed the plan, including that two other bombers were on their way to the camp.

A statement by the Cameroonian government says that the Multinational Joint Task Force operation leads to the deaths of 92 suspected Boko Haram militants in Village Kumshe near the Cameroonian border. The operation freed 850 villagers captured by Boko Haram. Two Cameroonians soldiers were killed and five others injured. The statement did not mention whether civilians were killed or wounded during the operations.

The video released by CNN is reportedly the same video sent to the Nigerian military when they were negotiating with suspected Boko Haram militants. According to CNN, the parents of the kidnapped girls were not shown the video.

The arrest of the al-Barnawi significantly affected the operations of Ansari, though they are not entirely defeated.

Amina Ali Nkeki, one of the kidnapped Chibok girls, has been released. Although the Nigerian military claims that they rescued her, witnesses say that she wandered out of the Sambisa forest, along with her child and a man who claims to be her husband. Nigeria’s joint intelligence center is currently investigating the man. 

Sheikh Abu Musab al-Barnawi, a 25-year-old man, is the second son of the founder of Boko Haram, Sheikh Yusuf. This announcement comes after chatter about a three-month internal dispute which led to Sheikh Barnawi to leave the Sambisa forest. A week after leaving the camp with his supporters, Sheikh Barnawi introduces himself as the new leader in an interview with ISIS publication al-Naba. Two days after the interview, Shekau released an audio message disputing the change of leadership claims, adding that the announcement was an attempted coup. Despite the claims by Sheikh Barnawi, the majority of Boko Haram are still loyal to long-time leader Abubakar Shekau. Many analysts claim that the announcement in the ISIS publication is an indication that ISIS recognises Sheikh al-Barnawi over Shekau.

In a video message, Boko Haram demanded the release of their fighters. In the video, the Chibok girls are seen seated behind a masked Boko Haram militant. The militant claims that 40 out of the 267 kidnapped girls had been married off. He also claimed that airstrikes killed some of the Chibok girls by the Multinational Task Force.

Just two months after Boko Haram released a video showing the Chibok girls, the group released 21 girls following negotiations with the government. Red Cross and Swiss Government officials brokered the talks between Boko Haram and the Nigerian government. The Nigerian Minister of Information said that the government did not release Boko Haram prisoners in exchange for the kidnapped girls.

One of the Chiblk girls, with her 10-month old son, was found outside the Sambisa forest, one of Boko Haram’s strongholds. Of the 267 kidnapped Chibok girls, 57 have either been released or have escaped.

Two months later, another Chibok girl and her six-month-old baby were located after a military operation to capture Boko Haram militants.

In an operation in Rann in Northeastern Nigeria, a Nigerian military plane accidentally bombs an IDP camp. The military did not give official figures of the death toll, but Doctors Without Borders put the death toll at 90 people, with another 120 wounded.

According to WHO, one-third of the states 749 health facilities were completely destroyed due to ongoing conflict in the region. Another third of health facilities were damaged. Poor infrastructure and safety concerns make it difficult for healthcare workers to access regions hit the hardest.

82 Chibok girls have been released following negotiations between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram. The girls were taken to Banki town in northern Nigeria. As part of the negotiation process, some Boko Haram militants were released. It is unclear how many militants were released. Like in previous negotiations, the Red Cross was the intermediary between the two parties. Boko Haram still has more than 100 Chibok girls.

Boko Haram militants kidnap 111 girls from the Girls Science and Technical College in Dapchi, Yobe State, Nigeria. The abducted girls were between the ages of 11 and 19. Hours before the kidnapping, the Nigerian military removed a military checkpoint and withdrew troops from Dapchi. The Governor of Yobe state, Ibrahim Geidam, immediately blamed the Nigerian government for removing the soldiers, adding that the girls would not have been kidnapped if the troops remained in the town.

On 21st March, 104 Dapchi girls are released. It is still unclear how many girls were kidnapped and how many still remain with Boko Haram.

In the same case, 562 suspects were also released due to lack of evidence. They were sent to their state government for “proper rehabilitation.”

Boko Haram attacked a displacement camp in Rann, Nigeria using rocket-propelled grenades and truck-mounted guns.  In the process of the raid, 3 Nigerian aid workers, are killed, and 3 International Committee of the Red Cross aid workers are kidnapped. Also, during the attack by Boko Haram, eight soldiers and police officers were killed. The kidnapped Red Cross aid workers were killed on 17 and 26 September and 16 October respectively

A UNICEF report claims that Boko Haram has abducted over 1000 children since 2013. The report says that the militants take the children as a means to spread fear and showcase their power. The news came on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the abduction of the Chibok girls.

In a Multinational Joint Task Force operation in Borno state, the Nigerian military managed to save over 1000 Boko Haram captives, mostly women and children. Fifty suspected militants were also killed in the operation.

The report also says that the Nigerian soldiers are forcing these women and girls to exchange sex for food. The government commented on the report, stating that the military found cases of abuse in some of the camps and appropriate punishment will be dealt out to those found guilty. The government also claims that Amnesty International for recycled previously reported claims.

Reports claim that Nur’s lieutenants killed him following his decision to release 104 out of the 110 Dapchi abducted girls. The report claim that Nur’s lieutenants apparently believe that his approach was too soft.

Ali Gaga is reported to have been killed because he was plotting to escape, alongside 300 Boko Haram captives, and surrender to the Nigerian military.

According to UNHRC, 30,000 people have been forced to flee over one weekend due to the increased threat from Boko Haram. Many of them have fled into Cameroon and Chad. The escalation of attacks has also forced some aid organisations to pull out from some locations.

In an 18-minute audio recording, ISIS replaced ISWAP leader Abu Mus’ab al-Barnawi with Abu Abdullah Ibn Umar al-Barnawi. The audiotape did not give reasons for the new change in leadership

An anti-Boko Haram militia and Nigerian government-backed Civilian Joint Task Force has released 900 children, including 106 girls, from its ranks, according to the UN. At a ceremony dedicated to the freeing of the children, the militia pledged its commitment to end and prevent the use of child soldiers.

Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) claimed responsibility for the attack on the Niger army that killed 28 soldiers. ISWAP claimed that they killed 40 troops, but the Niger Army published the ambushed killed only 28 soldiers. The Niger troops were ambushed near Tango village in Tillarei region near the border with Mali.

Three suicide bombers, two girls and a boy, killed in a total of 30 people and injured 39 others in northeast Nigeria. The exact ages of the three suicide bombers are unknown. The boy suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest outside a cinema hall where football fans had gathered to watch a match in Konduga, Borno state. This attack alone killed at least 24 people. A few kilometres away from the cinema hall, the two girls blew themselves up and killed another six people and injured 17 others. Though no group claimed responsibility, similar attacks have been conducted by Boko Haram.

Military sources say six soldiers were killed in an ambush by suspected Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP). ISWAP opened fire on a patrol vehicle killing all the soldiers on board. Following the ambush, militants attacked a nearby military. The hour-long battle was repelled by soldiers with ISWAP fighters abandoning their weapons and one of the seven vehicles they attacked the base with.

 

two drivers, and three health workers were kidnapped. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack immediately. Later on, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) released a video of one of the abducted females asking for her and her colleagues’ release.

On 25 September 2019, Action Against Hunger said one of the kidnapped was executed. The execution of the aid worker comes just days after the Nigerian government accused Action Against Hunger of aiding and abetting terrorists.

Suspected Boko Haram fighters attacked a funeral procession in Borno state in northern Nigeria, killing at least 65 people. The chairman of a local government says that he believes the attack as a retaliation for the killing of 11 Boko Haram fighters two weeks prior by residents of the village.

 

Two female suicide bombers kill three and wounded eight others in a suspected Boko Haram attack in Mafa town. According to the head of security for the State Emergency Management Agency in Borno State, Bello Donbatta, the two women entered the town among a group of local women who had gone to fetch water and firewood. They detonated their explosions in a crowd.

A suspected Boko Haram female suicide bomber detonated her vest in a compound of a traditional chieftain in Kaiga-Kindjira district, Lac Province, western Chad. The bomb killed a soldier, four guards and a civilian while another five people were injured. Though officials suspect it was a Boko Haram attack, the group has not claimed responsibility for the attack. The group rarely claim responsibility for attacks.

A suspected Boko Haram night raid on the border district of Gueskerou, southeast Niger, resulted in the death of twelve villagers. Gueskerou district has been the scene of many suspected Boko Haram attacks and kidnappings.

 

Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters kill eleven workers laying fibre optic cables in Wajirko village, Borno state. According to residents, ISWAP had warned the workers to quit the project but the workers ignored them since they needed money to feed their families.

Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters opened fire on a military convoy in Borno state, killing eight soldiers instantly. The convoy was heading towards the capital of northeastern Nigeria, Maiduguri when the insurgents used RPGs and heavy guns to attack the forces.

This attack is part of intensified efforts by ISWAP on Nigerian military and police targets. On 17 August, ISWAP fighters killed four soldiers. Three days later, ISWAP fighters killed five soldiers. ISWAP efforts during these two weeks have not been localised to Nigeria but also in Niger. On 24 and 25 August, ISWAP fighters planted two IEDs in Niger killing one person.

Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters claimed responsibility for an ambush on Nigerian soldiers in Borno state, northeastern Nigeria. Like in previous ambushes, the militants used RPGs to ambush the soldiers. On this occasion, ISWAP killed seven soldiers.

A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report claims that the Nigerian army arrested thousands of children they suspected of involvement with Boko Haram. The report says that some of the arrested children were as young as five years. The children were crammed into overwhelmingly hot and crowded cells in Giwa Barracks, a notorious military facility in Maiduguri. HRW claims that more the 3 600 children, including 1 617 girls, were detained by Nigerian forces between 2013 and 2019. The report also claims that some of the children suffered abuse while in the hands of security forces.

The Nigerian government denies the allegations.

Cameroonian officials announced that six soldiers died and nine others were injured in an attack by suspected Boko Haram fighters. The militants attacked a military post at Soueram near Fotokol in Lake Chad area. Fotokol is a major crossing point to Nigeria.

Nigerian government accuses Action Against Hunger aid group for aiding and abetting’ Boko Haram militants. They claim that the aid organisation is supplying militants with food and drugs. The organisation has denied the accusations, adding that they assist vulnerable people. The government has asked the organisation to close its office in Maiduguri, Northern Nigeria.

The Nigerian army has begun “Operation Positive Identification.” The army issued a statement asking citizens to carry valid identification while moving through Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.

 

Mercy Corps issued a statement saying they are suspending its operations in northeastern Nigeria. This decision is related to the government decision to close their four offices in Maiduguri after the government claimed that they aid and abet Boko Haram.

Militants belonging to Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) attacked Nigerian and Chadian troops in Gajiram town in two separate attacks. A local official commented on the incident, saying “we lost eight people in the attacks, including a policeman, a local hunter and six residents.” The militants mounted an attack on pickup trucks with machine guns. The militants were all killed when soldiers launched an RGP towards the pickup.

Suspected Boko Haram militants killed one civilian and injured several others in a raid in northern Cameroon. Following the attack, the militants looted foodstuffs and motorcycles. The militants fled to a nearby village and also looted from the villagers.

Nigerian army confirmed the arrest of 10 wanted Boko Haram commanders in Borno State. The commanders were arrested as they attempted to flee from sustained operations in the state. Some of the arrested commanders are responsible for a devastating attack on Gwoza in 2014.

 

At least four Nigerian soldiers were killed, as well as one ISWAP militant, following clashes between the two sides in Borno state. The troops clashed with ISWAP militants after they tried to ambush them. Four army vehicles were destroyed in the clash.

In a pre-dawn raid on a military base in Niger’s Diffa region, suspected Boko Haram militants killed 12 soldiers. In a statement, the Ministry of Defense said some Boko Haram militants were killed in the attack but did not specify the number.

 

Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) ambushed Nigerian military envoy near Damboa, Borno State, killing ten and severely injuring nine others. The ambush happened as the troops were conducting a clearance operation in the area. Following an hour-long battle, the Nigerian military was forced to withdraw from their position. Before retreating, they destroyed one of their trucks and three Kalashnikov rifles. Though ISWAP lost a vehicle, they managed to take a pickup truck from the Nigerian military, as well as six machine guns.

Borno State government has organised a rehabilitation program for 86 Boko Haram child soldiers. UNICEF sponsors the state rehabilitation program. The child soldiers are between the ages of 10 and 19. They will undergo a six months deradicalisation, rehabilitation, and reintegration program.

 

During a clearing mission in Mandara mountains of Gwoza council, Borno State, Nigerian military managed to rescue seven people who had been in captivity under Boko Haram. The village where they were rescued from was under Boko Haram control since August 16, 2014.

Eighteen civilians have been kidnapped by suspected Boko Haram militants in the Far North region of Cameroon, according to military officials. They were kidnapped as the militants stormed a village where they also looted foodstuffs. The Cameroonian military has begun a rescue mission to secure their release, according to local authorities.

 

Cameroonian military claims that over 250 militants, some of whom belonged to Boko Haram, have surrendered in 2019. All of them have undergone rehabilitation. In one of the rehabilitation centres, the former militants and anglophone separatists raise pigs and chickens.

According to the ex-militants, more militants are willing to surrender for reintegration but are fearful that the government will arrest them indefinitely instead of rehabilitating them.

 

According to Amnesty International, at least 275 people in Cameroon have been killed by Boko Haram. The majority killed were civilians – 225 people. Boko Haram is also notorious for looting and burning homes and health centres following attacks. All these attacks come after Cameroonian president claimed on 9 January 2019 that Boko Haram has been “pushed outside Cameroonian borders.”

Some of the interviewed survivors of Boko Haram attacks say they feel abandoned by the government. One interviewed person said that the problem with the government’s strategy in countering Boko Haram is that the soldiers are in the town while the militants are in the bush. Therefore, it takes the soldiers a long time to respond to the attacks.

A spokesperson for the Nigerian Airforce, Ibikunle Daramola, stated that the air force conducted an operation in Borno state. While targeting a Boko Haram camp, at least 30 militants were killed. He added that the camp was a tactical headquarters in Parisa town. The operation also destroyed Boko Haram settlements in Garin Molama town, which is the fringes of Sambisa forest, one of their hideouts.

Local sources reported that 50 people may have been killed in an attack by Boko Haram on an island in Lake Chad in late December.

At least 32 people were killed and over 35 injured when an IED exploded on a crowded bridge in Gamboru Borno State, Nigeria.

Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) claimed responsibility for the attack on its Amaq news agency which led to the death of twenty soldiers. Reuters added that this deadly attack destroyed 750 homes in the process and displaced more than 1,000 people in a town in the Borno State of Nigeria. A resident Gumati Sadu said people fled into the bush for safety during the fighting and that three civilians were killed by stray bullets.

 

In Northeast Nigeria, three aid workers and other civilians who were kidnapped on December 22 were released by an unspecified militant group. UN humanitarian coordinator, Edward Kallon delivered the relieving news about the health and wellbeing of these aid workers who were captured along the Monguno – Maiduguri road. Talking to Aljazeera, Asabe Musa, a hygiene specialist with ALIMA (Alliance for International Medical Action), a French NGO, was among those freed. He told AFP news agency that he was captured alongside a Red Cross staff and an International Office for Migration worker

The new group-Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) – has been the dominant armed group in Nigeria in the last two years. It confirmed the execution of 11 Christian captives previously kidnapped in Borno State.

 

A suspected female Boko Haram suicide bomber detonated her explosives in Kaiga-Kindjiria, western Chad, killing nine civilians. It was also reported that insurgents killed four villagers and kidnapped four women around the same area earlier in the month.

The Chadian president called back home 1,200 Chadian troops to Chad from Nigeria to defend Chadian territory.

 

Boko Haram militants killed four members of the same family in Bosso District, THE NEWS reported. Officials in this district located in the southeast region of Diffa bordering Chad and Nigeria told AFP five people were killed too.

In a separate attack in the southwestern region of Tillaberi, which borders Mali, four armed men on two motorbikes opened fire on workers in the village of Molia, killing four people, a regional official told AFP.

 

At least 30 civilians were killed and many more abducted by militants in Auno, Borno State, Nigeria. Four soldiers were killed and seven more wounded in an attack on the same village last month.

Boko Haram killed ten in Aksira/Uba, Borno. 

In Kaduna state, hundreds of bandits attacked four villages in Igabi area and reportedly killing 51 Crisis Group said. Almost a hundred armed men attacked the villages of Kerawa, Rago, Zareyawa, Marina, Hashimawa, and Unguwar Barau, all in the Igabi district, shooting residents, and looting and burning homes. A local politician, Alhaji Daiyibu Kerawa, told Voice Of Africa’s Hausa service that the shooters were part of Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram.

Boko Haram continued to target military in northeastern Nigeria, while banditry-related violence has left over 110 killed. Unfortunately three soldiers in Damboa town (near the Borno state capital) were killed by Boko Haram insurgents. However, in Maiduguri, government troops repelled attack killing nineteen insurgents, Crisis Group reported.


In another deadly attack reported by International Crisis Group Nigeria branch, bandits killed eight people in Yar Katsina village in Bungudu area, in Zamfara state.

The United Nations Children’s Fund and the Nigerian Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development are working to reunite the released children with their families. While this is positive news, per the Human Rights Watch, the Nigerian military still denies independent observers access to military prisons, preventing verification that there are no more child prisoners.

 

Again in Zamfara state precisely in Katsira village, Police Public Relations Officer, SP Mohammed Shehu, said four persons were ambushed and killed by the bandits who came to the community to rustle cows. Many armed men on motorcycles stormed the Gusau area killing eleven Yansakai vigilantes including Bala Maigora a famous commander. Several people sustained gunshot injuries, Reuters reported.

 

PUNCH reported public statements from Spokesman for the MNJTF, Col Timothy Antigha on Friday announcing the death of Boko Haram and Islamic State West African Province top commanders Mallam Bakura and some of his aides by the he Multi-National Joint Task Force. This attack took place during an operation in Lake Chad, Borno State and was conducted alongside the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole.

Boko Haram insurgents ambushed and killed six soldiers in the Banki area, including two lance corporals, two sergeants, and two privates. Ventures reports that the attack took place in a Borno state community that is home to about 45,000 people displaced by previous Boko Haram attacks. 

Gunmen suspected to be bandits stormed a weekly market in Birnin Tsaba village, Birnin Magaji area, and engaged in a sporadic shooting that resulted in the death of four traders. The Independent indicated two innocent vigilantes were killed during the crossfire by the suspected bandits. Villagers later lynched three Fulani men, out of suspicion that the attackers were Fulani.

 

Crisis Group reported Boko Haram killed sixteen people in two villages in Maru area, Nigeria. ABC News added, Niger says its army has killed at least 50 Boko Haram extremists after an attack on a military post. The attack destroyed a large number of vehicles and unfortunately left one soldier injured.



The targeted gathering of counter-insurgency operations in Gorgi area killed more than 100 Boko Haram including the top commander. The Nigerian military carried out this attack against the Boko Haram splinter group Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) leaders and fighters in Lake Chad area, Crisis Group added.

 

ISWAP militants and BH insurgents killed 29 soldiers in their usual strikes. Kidnappers abducted fourteen in Anka, Zamfara. Gunmen killed two soldiers and two others in Bassa, Plateau.

 

Suspected herdsmen killed one and kidnapped three in Kwande, Benue.
Unpresidented gunmen abducted five in Akoko, Edo. Boko Haram killed ninety-two Chadian soldiers in Boma, Chad. In Niger state, bandits attacked security patrol teams comprising soldiers, police, and civil defense personnel in Shiroro area, Niger State. This attack consequently killed twenty-nine security operatives.

The resurgence of long-dormant Boko Haram splinter near Ansaru in the North West was the result of soldiers ambushed near Goneri village. Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (dpa) spoke with witnesses who estimated the death toll at between 50 and 75 people.

Boko Haram fighters ambushed the Chadian troops in Bohoma where sadly 98 Chadian soldiers died leaving dozens wounded and military vehicles destroyed. The violence led to the displacement of 170,000 people within the Lac Province gravely affecting agriculture and trade.
Seventy Nigerian soldiers and one hundred fifty Boko Haram militants were killed during a clash in Askira-Uba, Borno.

Strange Kidnappers abducted 23 in Jos, Plateau, the Daily Post reports, citing Commissioner Isaac Akinmoyede.  In response, the State Police Command paraded 23 suspects for crimes ranging from kidnapping, armed robbery, rape, culpable homicide, possession of firearms among others. 


Gunmen killed three in Kajuru, Kaduna. Sectarian violence led to five deaths in Chikun, Kaduna. Nigerian troops killed “scores” (estimated at forty) of ISWA militants in Ngala, Borno.

The New Humanitarian reported two deadly attacks by jihadist groups in Chad and Nigeria which killed more than 140 soldiers within a week. The militants continue to threaten the Lake Chad region, despite reports of fractional fighting and leadership changes because of death and neutralization from the military.
Sectarian violence led to fourteen deaths in Kajuru, Kaduna.


Kidnappers abducted six in Ibi, Taraba. Nigerian troops killed “several” (estimated at ten) of Boko Haram militants in Gwoza, Borno.


Crisis Group International reported the ambush of vehicles near Maiduguri which sent five people down the grave in Yobe state in the northeast, Nigeria.


Air force attacked bandits’ camp in the Pandogari area, Niger state, reportedly killing many.

Niger, Chad, and Nigeria vowed an aggressive massive joint attack against Boko Haram, Voice of Africa reported. Earlier in the week, Chad deployed forces to Nigeria and Niger.


Two Boko Haram suicide bombers killed themselves and ten others in Amchide, Cameroon.

In Nigeria’s Borno State in the Kukawa area, the Nigerian military launched an offensive against Boko Haram leaving 19 of them dead.


Suspected herdsmen killed one in Oshimili North, Delta. The Nigerian troops killed two Boko Haram militants in Ngala, Borno. Gunmen killed four people in Bassa, Plateau. The Nigerien and Nigerian troops killed “scores” (estimated at forty) of Boko Haram militants in Kukawa, Borno. A military officer and three kidnappers were killed during a shootout in Okene, Kogi. Boko Haram killed three in Askira/Uba, Borno.

The Chadian army said that military operations over the past month had resulted in the deaths of 1,000 Boko Haram militants and 52 Chadian soldiers in the Lake Chad area. Sectarian violence led to nine deaths in Ukum, Benue. Bandits killed one and kidnapped 16 in Birnin-Gwari, Kaduna. Gunmen abducted nine in Chikun, Kaduna. 

The Chadian military destroyed Boko Haram bases and collected their leftover material in Bohoma after cashing them back to Nigeria. The operation resulted in the loss of 52 Chadian soldiers whilst two militant Islamist group command posts were destroyed. Official figures estimate, roughly 1,000 militants were neutralized, 58 suspects were taken prisoners, dozens of motorized boats destroyed, and significant arms caches reclaimed. 44 of those imprisoned in N’Djamena for further investigation were found dead after a presumed apparent mass suicide.

Sunday Vanguard gathered that the Fulani herdsmen stormed the church at about 8:30 pm when the pastor was praying and counseling five of his members in the front church hall.

The Nigerian Tribune reported Major General John Enenche’s statement about the Nigerian Military Air Task Force of Operation LAFIYA DOLE disarming Boko Haram terrorists. This entailed the bombardment of vegetation-like structures that were used to store terrorist equipment and house fighters as revealed by intelligence from surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

The Nigerian army stopped a bandit caravan in Dansadau forest, killing ten and rescuing eighteen captives.

Chadian armed forces reportedly carried out an operation against Boko Haram in the Lake Chad region. 52 soldiers were lost and a 1,000 militants killed.

The report showed that a total of 113 security personnel with 77 soldiers, 26 Police officers, and 10 Naval officers were killed in three months (January, February, and March). It also recorded 249 deaths of terrorists and bandits, Premium Times reported. The report covers fatalities in 30 states and the FCT, including the six geopolitical zones in the country.


The Nigerian army reportedly killed 105 Islamic State West Africa Province fighters on the outskirts of Yobe state’s Buni Gari village. Bandits killed fourteen people in Danmusa LGA, ten in Dutsinma LGA, and twenty-three in Safana LGA in Katsina.

 

Nigerian troops killed “several” (estimated at ten) bandits in Rafi, Niger state. Herdsmen killed five in Kauru, Kaduna. Bandits killed three in Faskari, Katsina.


Four soldiers and thirty bandits were killed in a clash in Zurmi, Zamfara.
Gunmen killed eight in Rafi, Niger state. Communal violence led to four deaths and one kidnapping in Anambra West, Anambra. Nigerian troops killed thirteen Boko Haram militants in Geidam, Yobe.


Nigerian troops killed “some” (estimated at ten) Boko Haram militants in Gwoza, Borno.


Nigerian troops killed three militia in Ukum, Benue. Herdsmen killed two in Aniocha North, Delta.


Bandits killed seven and kidnapped one in Chikun, Kaduna.


Nigerian troops killed eighty-nine bandits in Zurmi, Zamfara. Boko Haram killed three policemen and two others in Konduga, Borno. Herder-farmer violence continued in Middle Belt, including unidentified gunmen.


The twin children of an Islamic cleric were kidnapped in Ibadan, Oyo. Police killed three bandits in Gurara, Niger state. Nigerian Air Force killed “several” (estimated at ten) ISWA militants in Kukawa, Borno.


Bandits killed two in Shiroro, Niger state. Herdsmen kidnapped four in Oshimili North, Delta. Bandits killed three and kidnapped twelve in Kajuru, Kaduna.


Nigerian troops killed two Boko Haram militants in Gwoza, Borno.
Bandits killed a police inspector and one other, and kidnapped six in Birnin Gwari, Kaduna.


A policeman killed a soldier in Bomadi, Delta. Nigerian Air Force killed “some” (estimated at ten) Boko Haram militants in Gwoza, Borno.


Pirates kidnapped ten off the coast of Lagos. Bandits killed three in Kankara, Katsina. Bandits killed four vigilantes in Chikun, Kaduna.
Sectarian violence led to four deaths in Donga, Taraba.

78 of the fighters were members of Boko Haram, while 56 were members of ISWAP. The troops were part of Operation Kantana Jimlan, which launched on 1 May 2020.
According to the UNHRC, the number of people fleeing to Niger has tripled since last year. Niger now hosts over 500,000 refugees from Nigeria, Mali, and Burkina Faso. Additionally, roughly 19,000 Nigerians are internally displaced.

25 militants were killed south of Diffa, Niger. In nearby Nigeria, 50 more were reportedly “neutralized” in the Lake Chad region. Notably, 120,000 Nigerian refugees and 110,000 internally displaces Nigeriens live in Diffa.

Boko Haram militants killed 12 soldiers at a military base in. At least 10 more soldiers were wounded in the attack. The base is outside of Diffa, a city of 200,000 in the remote southeastern part of the country near the Nigerian border.
Amnesty International reports that at least 10,000 civilians have died in military detention. Many of the victims were children, detained without charge, and reportedly living in “inhumane” conditions.
An attack by suspected Boko Haram militants left 81 dead in Faduma Kolomdi, a nomadic village in the North of Gubio. The militants abducted seven people, including the head of the village, as well as 400 cattle.
The two attacks both occurred around the afternoon. In Monguno, 20 soldiers were killed and “hundreds” of civilians were reportedly injured in the crossfire, per VOA. The local hospital was so overwhelmed that some injured victims had to wait outside for help. Militants also burned down the local police station and the United Nations humanitarian hub. Residents reportedly received letters, written in Hausa, warning them not to work for the military or international aid groups. That same afternoon, militants arrived in Nganzai and killed at least 40 civilians.
NARD called for a strike on June 13th over “grossly inadequate” personal protective equipment (PPE) and welfare concerns. Notably the strike exempted Covid-19 treatment centers. On June 22nd NARD called off the strike, saying it was to give the government time to fulfill their demands. NARD represents about 40% of doctors in Nigeria.
In a July 2020 report, REACH designated northeastern Nigeria “hard to reach (h2r)” for humanitarian actors, due to ongoing conflict. Along with climate change, conflict has reduced access to vital resources such as clean water, shelter, and food supplies. REACH found that in 78% of settlements, sick community members were not separated from others. Additionally, outbreaks in the region will likely go unreported, due to the difficulty of reaching the region.
Boko Haram released a video showing the execution five kidnapped aid workers, all from Nigeria. One of the insurgents claimed the execution was “for working with infidels.” However, the execution notably followed the government and humanitarian agencies’ refusal to pay a $500,000 ransom. The aid workers were employed by the State Emergency Management Agency, Action Against Hunger, and the International Rescue Committee.
The governor had been on his way to visit internally displaced persons when militants attacked his convoy in Baga. Security forces managed to fend off the militants, but there were reportedly “some casualties” in the governor’s entourage, per Sahara Reporters. After the attack, Zulum criticized the military for previously denying Boko Haram’s presence in the area.
In the middle of the night, an estimated 20-30 Boko Haram fighters entered and attacked the displacement site in Nguetechewe. In addition to looting and shooting at residents, the militants also used two child suicide bombers, per the Human Rights Watch. The attack killed 17 civilians and wounded 16 more. Security forces in Nguetechewe were reportedly “neither trained nor equipped” for such an attack. After the attack, more security forces were deployed to Nguetechewe.
The prisoners defected on the Nigerian-Cameroonian border and were taken to the Cameroonian Center for Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration.  VOA reports that 45 of the defectors were Nigerian fighters, and three were Cameroonian fighters. Another 45 were Nigerian children and 16 were women “being used as sex slaves.”
ISWAP forces attacked Kukawa town, fighting soldiers guarding the town. Residents had only returned on August 2nd, after spending two years in refugee camps in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state. Despite lingering safety concerns, the government has encouraged displaced persons to return home. During the fighting, three soldiers died, two were wounded, and eight rebels died.
As of August 23rd, there are currently 1,024 confirmed cases, though actual numbers are likely much higher. The threat of Covid-19 is exacerbating welfare in the region, where 7.5 million are already in need of humanitarian aid. The report finds that IDPs are at particularly high risk, in part due to congested living conditions. The report also cites “the prevalence of comorbidities such as chronic malnutrition, and endemic malaria coupled with…measles and expected cholera outbreaks” as additional risks. Furthermore, ongoing conflict with extremist groups (e.g. Boko Haram, ISWAP) has decreased healthcare accessibility.
The Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole attacked ISWAP hideouts in Kirta Wulgo and Sabon Tumbun with “an enhanced force package” of fighter jets and helicopter gunships. Notably, Kirta Wulgo is an administrative headquarters and training camp. As many as 15 ISWAP commanders were at Kirta Wulgo. 

Boko Haram attacked farmers in Alau village, Vanguard reports. Two men were killed and two more kidnapped. The farmers were reportedly from a displacement site.
A suicide bomber killed at least 7 civilians and wounded 14 more in Goldavi, a village in Cameroon’s Far North region. Notably, the village hosts a camp for 18,000 internally displaced people (IDPs). Since early August, attacks on the region have killed 22 people, wounded 29, and displaced at least 7,000, per Cameroonian authorities.

The soldiers were on patrol when ISWAP militants ambushed them in Giwa Village, Kukawa Local Government Area. In addition to killing 10 soldiers (and injuring “many” more, per Vanguard), the militants reportedly stole two gun trucks. 

According to The Who, flash floods have affected 6,742 households in IDP camps in Borno State, particularly regarding access to “water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities.” Additionally, cholera cases will likely increase. The State Ministry of Health and its partners are “in emergency response mode” to mitigate damage. Infrastructure previously used to eradicate wild polio is reportedly aiding efforts. 

The Nigerian Military announced that troops of Operation Lafiya Dole rescued 7 kidnapping victims (2 women and 5 children) in a clearance operation. Additionally, troops killed 9 Boko Haram militants in the operation.

Bandits kidnapped 16 family members and shot 4 more, when the family was on its way to their farm in Uduwa village, in the Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State. Children, including a young infant, were among those kidnapped.  

The Guardian reports that 10 Chadian soldiers were killed and 7 more injured during an attack on a Boko Haram military base in the Lake Chad Basin region. Details are still unclear, though army spokesperson Azem Mbermandoa, the Chadian military “destroyed a Boko Haram base [and] recovered weapons and ammunition.” 

Soldiers of Operation Lafiya Dole killed 16 Boko Haram militants and arrested 11 more. Among those arrested are reportedly family members of Boko Haram militants, per P.M. News. The soldiers also seized caches of arms and ammunition. 

Governor Zulum called for the National Assembly and the North East Development Commission (NEDC) to address root causes fueling Boko Haram (i.e. poverty, lack of educational access) in the region and help IDPs’ return home. Zulum described worsening living conditions in IDPs centers and host communities, noting that Boko Haram is recruiting children. He further argued that it is “no longer sustainable for [IDP camps] to depend on handouts of international non-governmental organisations and United Nations humanitarian agencies for survival.”

The IOM launched an 8 million USD project to “support holistic community stabilization in conflict-affected communities and youth at risk in the wider Lake Chad region.” The project will aid 300,000 people across Chad’s Lac, Kanem, and Barh el Ghazel regions. 

12.5 million in the Lake Chad Basin region are now in need of urgent assistance, 1.7 million more than in January 2020. Additionally, the report found that more than 1,000 schools in the region have shut down since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Air strikes operated by the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole killed “scores” of Boko Haram militants in Ngala (on the 24th) and Bama (on the 25th), Borno State. Major General John Eneche stated that there was “massive destruction of Boko Haram terrorists’ camps.” 

In Barkalam, near the Nigerian border, Chadian soldiers attacked Boko Haram militants, freeing 12 civilians (nine of whom were children) and killing 15 militants. Later that day, in Bilabrim, Niger,  Chadian soldiers killed five Boko Haram militants. Two Chadian soldiers were injured.

Militants ambushed a government convoy headed to Baga, killing eight policemen and three members of pro-government militia group, Edet Okon. The day before, a convoy carrying Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State safely reached Baga. Zulum had travelled to Baga to discuss the safe return of residents forced to flee Baga two years ago.

13 Boko Haram militants, 6 women, and 17 children surrendered to Nigerian troops in Kodila village, Bama Local Government Area. They are reportedly receiving medical attention at a military hospital. According to Major General John Enenche, the militants had been under “sustained aerial bombardment and aggressive intensive clearance operation” executed by Operation Lafiya Dole.

ISWAP reportedly used a “donkey strapped with explosives” to attack Governor Zulum’s convoy as he returned to Maiduguri. At least 14 police officers and 4 civilians were killed.  

ISWAP forces, reportedly armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, attacked a military convoy carrying supplies for troops, Vanguard reports. The militants killed 10 Nigerian soldiers and injured 8 more, before looting supplies and setting two vehicles on fire. Per Vanguard, sources suggested the attack was in response to the military’s earlier bombing of ISWAP’s camps in the Marte region, in which three ISWAP commanders were killed. 

In the town of Marte, Borno state, Boko Haram fighters ambushed and killed 10 soldiers and wounded 8. The military vehicle which was operating in the northeastern part of Nigeria was set ablaze while food and essential supplies were seized by the insurgents.

A video circulating on social media shows SARS officials shooting a young man in front of the Wetland Hotel, Ughelli in the Delta state and fleeing with the victim’s Lexus SUV. This brutality triggered protests on social media with the hashtag #EndSARS.

Reports from Reuters indicate that a special directive from the government of Nigeria has ordered the immediate dissolution of SARS.

While addressing some angry protesters in Ikeja, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu pledged to setup a fund that will support Lagos residents who have been victims of police brutality. He said in his statement that the compensation fund will be fully supervised by Civil Society Organizations appointed by members of the public.

As farmers were working on their irrigation fields in the Ngwom village of northeastern Nigeria, Boko Haram militants captured 15 farmers and slit their throats. Unfortunately, 14 of them died while one was admitted to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Boko Haram and rival groups like ISWAP have increasingly targeted vulnerable farmers, fishermen, and herdsmen, accusing them of spying and sending strategic information to the military and anti-jihadist groups.

As the #ENDSARS movement grows, Governor Zulum of Borno state defended SARS’ record fighting against Boko Haram in northern Nigeria, calling for the dissolved forces to be deployed to Borno state. The Premium Times reported that some civil society members (e.g. the Nigeria Bar Association) say SARS has been useful to northern Nigeria due to the severe security threat Boko Haram poses. However, it should be noted that over the years there have been numerous allegations of human rights violations by SARS in northern Nigeria.

In the middle of the night, Boko Haram militants killed 3 civilians and abducted 4 others during a raid on Oudal village in the Mayo-Moskota subdivision. During a search and rescue mission, a fifth civilian was abducted.

In the wake of Boko Haram’s increasingly frequent attacks, Cameroon closed over 60 schools in the Far North region bordering Borno, Nigeria, per VOA. Since January, Cameroon has reported at least three Boko Haram attacks per week, largely suicide bombings by women and children. According to Ousmanou Garga, a basic education official in the region, there are now 34,054 schoolchildren registered as IDPs in northern Cameroon. The children have had to either attend schools “very far” from their homes or to stop formal education altogether.

Leave a Reply