Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Boko Haram’s deadly advance must be stopped, but how?

(Photo: Nigeria Army: Soldiers raid Boko Haram forest, kill 44 insurgents)

Last week’s massacre of perhaps 2,000 people in and around the Nigerian town of Baga, and the bombings of markets in the north-east using children perhaps as young as 10, mark not a new tactic for the violent extremist organisation Boko Haram, but an intensification of its existing behaviour.
Boko Haram is pushing the boundaries of the extreme and is challenging – and seemingly succeeding – in overstretching Nigeria’s 7th Infantry Division, tasked to fight the insurgents in the north-east. In recent months it has made significant territorial gains and is in control of many towns around the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, though this is in a constant state of flux as the military defends state capitals and recaptures lost urban centres.
The question that needs to be answered is how did this terrorist threat grow to such horrifying proportions, killing thousands and displacing millions – a threat unimaginable in a democratic Nigeria 10 years ago? And what can be done to stop it?
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