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“In Nigeria, we don’t want them back”: Amnesty, Defectors’ Programs, leniency measures, informal reconciliation, and punitive responses to Boko Haram

This report analyses the limitations, human rights violations, and counterproductive effects of the heavy-handed Nigerian military response to Boko Haram. It also looks at the multiple attempts at negotiating with Boko Haram, discussions of a possib…

Cameroon’s Far North: A New Chapter in the Fight Against Boko Haram

This report is one in a series of Crisis Group publications on the threat posed by Boko Haram in the Lake Chad basin. It is based on documentary research and some 150 interviews conducted from August 2017 to March 2018 in the Cameroonian capital Y…

Separatist Agitations in Nigeria: War versus Peace Journalism

The mass media are veritable tools for information dissemination, surveillance and correlation. Conflict reporting is one of the delicate areas of media practice. The type of agenda the media set on a conflict can either fuel or quell the crisis. …

Using Social Media for Long-haul Activism: Lessons from the BBOG Movement in Nigeria

The Bring Back our Girls (BBOG) is a women-led, spontaneous movement that erupted in Nigeria following the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls by Boko Haram terrorists in 2014. It soon gained widespread presence on the streets but even more online. T…

Inter-Security Agency Rivalry as an Impediment to National Counter Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST)

The emergence of Boko Haram as a terrorist group in Nigeria considerably changed the country’s security milieu. From a quiet religious group in the early 2000s, the group had risen in 2015 to become the deadliest terrorist group. As a security chal…

Strategies of Boko Haram and IPOB in Nigeria’s Postcolonial Context: A Critique

The main objective of the study is to examine how the post-colonial character of the Nigerian state engendered the emergence and strategies of IPOB and Boko Haram in the state. The study is anchored on the postcolonial state theory. Qualitative (d…

The Reintegration Enigma: Interventions for Boko Haram deserters in the Lake Chad Basin

In the Lake Chad Basin area, waves of Boko Haram members have deserted the violent extremist group since August 2016. Those who voluntarily leave the group are often referred to as deserters, returnees or repenters. While these three categories are …

Taking Our Security into our Hands: The Role of Vigilante Groups in the Fight against Boko Haram Terrorist Group in the Lake Chad Basin

The rise of Boko Haram in Nigeria and its spread to other parts of Lake Chad Basin has triggered the proliferation of several community defense forces, otherwise known as vigilante groups. This policy brief reveals that faced with Boko Haram attac…

Surviving Boko Haram: Why Children under Five Matter

There is a dearth of accurate health and mortality information coming out of those areas of Nigeria and Cameroon most affected by Boko Haram. This has led to gaps in understanding the full correlation between armed conflict and the health of childre…

How Viable is Dialogue with Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram?

The campaign against terror groups in the Lake Chad Basin and Horn of Africa relies heavily on the use of force as a strategy. However, this approach is yet to deliver a sustainable solution. Although dialogue with terror groups is a sensitive and c…

Facing the Challenge of the Islamic State in West Africa Province

The Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), a splinter of Boko Haram, is growing in power and influence. From its territorial base on the banks and islands of Lake Chad, this jihadist group is waging a guerrilla war across north-eastern Niger…

Beyond Tweets and Screams: Action for Empowerment and Accountability in Nigeria - The Case of #BBOG Movement

This paper explores the nature, role and dynamics of new forms of social and political action as pathways to empowerment and accountability in fragile conflict- and violence-affected settings in Africa. Through an in-depth analysis of the case of …

Insecurity, Forced Migration, and Internally Displaced Persons along the Cameroon-Nigeria Border, 2003-2018

The Cameroon-Nigeria border is plagued with insecurity challenges and serious threats to the border communities. Following the Boko Haram attacks, the counter-offensive by the Cameroonian and Nigerian armed forces, and the attacks between the Southe…

From "Western Education is Forbidden" to the World's Deadliest Terrorist Group: Education and Boko Haram in Nigeria

Boko Haram — which translates literally to “Western education is forbidden” — has, since 2009, killed tens of thousands of people in Nigeria, and has displaced more than two million others. This paper uses an interdisciplinary approach to examine th…

Besieged but not Relenting: Ensuring Fair Trials for Nigeria’s Terrorism Suspects

Nigeria’s criminal justice system is dealing with thousands of people in mass trials related to terrorism offences – including those committed by suspected Boko Haram members. Having conducted three phases of trials between 2017 and 2018, with eac…

Making Sense of Resilience in the Boko Haram Crisis

Major risk factors for violent extremism can be found in Bauchi and Gombe, two states in the north-east of Nigeria – the zone where the terror group Boko Haram is active. Yet in spite of risk factors, these two states have not experienced similar …

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