Monday, 7 March 2016

Boko Haram is still a threat in Nigeria

"If they can attack communities 5km from Maiduguri, when you are losing men, it's shameful. Where you cannot secure lives you have not won the war"- Hamsatu Al;lamin

Photo: Facebook(UN Women)

There is  conflicting evidence about the danger that Boko Haram still poses in North-Eastern Nigeria.

President Buhari claims the group has been" technically defeated"but continues to mount suicide bombing and other attacks.

 Nigeria's Information Minister, Lai Mohammed claimed victory was being achieved and highlighted army advances in Borno state and its main town Maiduguri.

He told UK Standard newspaper in an interview that Nigeria Army had "decimated Boko Haram.
"It will take a while for the violence to stop but... all of the roads to Maiduguri are now open.
They can no longer lanuch attacks like before...when you decimate them you cannot fight them like a regular army. They now attack soft targets. What the government is doing is improving intelligence gathering,  and prevention."

However, Education Minister Adamu Adamu expressed concern about the influence of Islamic State, to which Boko Haram has pledged allegiance. "Part of the problem is the internationalisation of the problem with Isis.", he said.

While the Nigerian government seeks to counter Boko Haram militarily, a "national stability and reconciliation programme," supported by the British Council has begun to help victims of conflict and prevent further violence.

One of those leading the work is Hamsatu Allamin, a 58-year old mother and human rights campaigner based in Maiduguri who tries to reintegrate women and girls freed from Boko Haram. She says her aim is to persuade community and Islamic leaders that women are victims, not a threat.

About 1.5 million Nigerians from the North-Eastern states affected by Boko Haram continue to shelter in refugee camps because they are unconvinced that it is safe to return to their homes.

Source: Evening Standard;( Breakthrough Hope in search for 200 girls seized by Boko Haram terror group)

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