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From global jihad to local insurgencies: the changing nature of Sub-Saharan...

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For more than a decade the Islamist insurgency in Sub-Saharan Africa has seemed unstoppable. 2022 saw another uptick in jihadist violence across the continent. Fatalities...

Insurgents scatter as Nigeria rules the air

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Northeast Nigeria’s famed Sambisa Forest is known for its low-profile trees and dense thickets, punishing anyone foolish enough to traverse it without a machete....

Global coalition to defeat ISIS to focus on African states

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The Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh/ISIS has established a focus group to help African states build up their counterterrorism capabilities, particularly for regions where...

Niger’s coup weakens regional fight against Boko Haram: four reasons why

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Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum was detained and deposed on 26 July by his military guard under the command of General Abdourahamane Tchiani. The unconstitutional change...

ISS: Why Nigeria’s bandits are recruiting women for gunrunning

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Women are increasingly involved in banditry-linked arms trafficking in Nigeria’s north-west. Between December 2022 and February 2023, police arrested several female gunrunners in Nigeria’s...

ISS: Turning away from terrorism – lessons from the Lake Chad...

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Terror groups in the Sahel are becoming more resilient, making it hard for governments and their partners to degrade them. As the region explores...

Nigerian airstrikes taking major toll on ISWAP

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Fourteen years into its fight against violent extremist organizations (VEOs) in the Lake Chad Basin, Nigeria is finding success from above, forcing militants to...

UN official: Africa is ‘key battleground for terrorism’

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Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for an attack that killed six civilians and three Soldiers at the Pearl Beach Hotel restaurant in Mogadishu, Somalia, in early...

Mozambican terror group is strikingly similar to Nigeria’s deadly Boko Haram

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Terrorism is a global problem affecting many countries. Until 2017, however, southern Africa was largely spared from this phenomenon. The bloody conflict sparked by...

ISS: Boko Haram brings IEDs back to Cameroon

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Boko Haram’s return to using improvised explosive devices (IEDs) is a major worry for Cameroon’s Far North Region. Until recently, the region hadn’t recorded...

Nigeria’s security situation has got worse: what Tinubu’s administration needs to...

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Nigeria’s new president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has promised to make security a top priority of his administration. In his inaugural speech he promised, among...

MNJTF sees Boko Haram’s defeat on the horizon

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With the handover of command of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), leaders hope to continue the momentum against the extremist group Boko Haram....

Cameroon sends troops to CAR and Nigeria borders to stop attacks

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Cameroon is deploying troops to its borders in response to a resurgence of Boko Haram attacks in the country’s Far North region. In April, the...

ISS: Insecurity grows in Cameroon as reintegration efforts stall

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Former Boko Haram fighters and members who return to communities in Cameroon pose a significant security threat to civilians. The lack of effective reintegration...

Terror groups prey on vulnerable, cost continent billions

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Moustapha was running out of hope. The Nigerien man had a family to feed but little means to do so. Like scores of people around...

ISS: Nigeria’s new president must prioritise the Boko Haram crisis

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By the time he is sworn in on 29 May, Bola Tinubu should be fully aware that the Boko Haram crisis presents an immense...

Economic pressures drive extremism – report

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A lack of job opportunities is the leading factor driving people to join fast-growing violent extremist groups in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a new...

Boko Haram kidnappings signal expansion, desperation

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The masked men from Boko Haram entered the village of Shiroro in Nigeria’s Niger State from the nearby Hudawa forest. They fired their weapons...

Jihadists and bandits are cooperating – why this is bad news...

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The Nigerian state has come under severe security stress in recent times. It has faced multiple national security threats: jihadist groups in the north-east;...

Violent extremism could beckon in north-western Nigeria if local dynamics are...

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In January 2022, in a bid to stem a tide of violent attacks and kidnappings in north-western Nigeria, the government labelled the armed groups...

ISS: As terrorists claim new ground, an African strategy is vital

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As Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda leaders have been targeted and eliminated internationally, the terrorist groups have expanded and consolidated their African operations. According...

Sahel and Somalia drive rise in Africa’s militant Islamist group violence

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Militant Islamist violence in Africa has risen continuously over the past decade, doubling in just the past 3 years. A review of violence involving African...

ISS: Kuje prison break: is Nigeria out of security options?

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On 5 July, the Boko Haram breakaway faction Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) led a successful attack on a well-secured prison in Nigeria’s...

ISS: Ansaru’s comeback in Nigeria deepens the terror threat

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The resurgence of Boko Haram’s breakaway faction, with its al-Qaeda backing, threatens national and regional security. For much of the past decade, Ansaru has largely...

Desertions weaken ISWAP, Boko Haram

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As the bloody rivalry between two large terror groups continues to destroy countless lives in northeast Nigeria, both sides are experiencing another kind of...

Study urges more investment in Lake Chad basin to undercut extremists

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Musa Barkame once made his living transporting goods by boat across Lake Chad to markets in Nigeria. All that ended when Boko Haram arrived...

ISS: Rebuilding local economies can help defeat Boko Haram

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The devastation caused by Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin is not limited to deaths and displacements. It includes severe disruptions to economic...

Surge in militant Islamist violence in the Sahel dominates Africa’s fight...

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A 70-percent annual increase in violent events linked to militant Islamist groups in the Sahel propelled a new record of extremist violence in Africa...

ISS: No easy answers to Lake Chad Basin’s security dilemmas

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It has been two decades since Mohammed Yusuf founded the group that became known as Boko Haram, and over a decade since its violent...

ISS: Getting Goudoumaria right: are Boko Haram defectors reintegrating safely?

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Lessons learnt from Niger's DDRRR programme must inform stabilisation efforts nationally and in the Lake Chad basin region. Since 2015, fighters, associates, and people trapped...

Islamic State sinks roots across Africa

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The Islamic State group, which once held about a third of Syrian territory and even more ground in Iraq, now oversees a network of...

Nigerian state to shut camps for people displaced by insurgency

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Nigeria's Borno state, the epicentre of an ongoing Islamist insurgency, will shut all camps that are holding thousands of internally displaced persons by the...

Nigerian army says 24 Islamist insurgents killed

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Nigerian troops killed 24 suspected Islamist insurgents in two attacks in the northeast and recovered some weapons, the army said on Tuesday. Boko Haram and...

Nigerian women and children trek six days to escape from Islamists

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A group of 15 Nigerian women and children trekked through the bush for six days to escape from Islamist militants who had kidnapped them...

Five Nigerian students kidnapped freed after ransom paid – school

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Five more students who were kidnapped by gunmen from a school in Nigeria three months ago have been released after ransoms were paid, the...

Analysis: Will Buhari finally heed the calls to declare bandits as...

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The reign of a false dichotomy between banditry and terrorism in Nigeria could be coming to an end soon as the national assembly adopts...

Boko Haram moves into north-central Nigeria in apparent expansion – officials

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Boko Haram insurgents have taken over multiple communities in Nigeria’s north-central Niger state, offering villagers money and incorporating them in their ranks to fight...

Why Buhari government will not name Boko Haram sponsors now –...

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Nigeria’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has reiterated the position of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to name sponsors of Boko...

Is granting amnesty to Boko Haram members fair to the Nigerian...

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In 2015, the Nigerian federal government inaugurated an initiative called Operation Safe Corridor, aimed towards rehabilitating and reintegrating repented Boko Haram militias. For years, the...

Nigeria says it seizes 14 tonnes of fertiliser meant for Boko...

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Nigerian troops have seized 14 tonnes of fertiliser that the insurgent Islamist group Boko Haram had planned to turn into roadside bombs, the army...

Almost 6 000 Boko Haram fighters have surrendered, Nigerian army says

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Close to 6 000 fighters from the Boko Haram Islamist insurgent group in northeast Nigeria have surrendered in recent weeks, the Nigerian armed forces...

Boko Haram attack kills 16 soldiers in southern Niger

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Hundreds of Islamist Boko Haram militants attacked a military post in southern Niger overnight, killing 16 soldiers and wounding nine more, the defence ministry...

ISS: Boko Haram desertions could be the tipping point

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Governments in the Lake Chad Basin region should use the ongoing departures to cripple the violent extremist group. At least 2 122 people associated with...

Around 11 000 Cameroonians flee to Chad after violence

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Around 11 000 people fleeing clashes between herders and fishermen in northern Cameroon arrived in neighbouring Chad at the weekend, a provincial governor in...

Second Nigerian “Chibok girl” freed in a week seven years after...

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A second young woman abducted seven years ago from the town of Chibok by Boko Haram militants was freed this week, Borno state's governor...

Fisher-herder conflict in northern Cameroon kills at least 12

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Clashes between herders and fishers in northern Cameroon have killed at least 12 people this week in the area's worst ethnic violence in recent...

Chibok schoolgirl freed in Nigeria seven years after abduction, governor says

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One abducted girl from the Nigerian town of Chibok has been freed and reunited with her parents seven years after Boko Haram militants kidnapped...

ISS: Boko Haram and COVID-19: Lake Chad Basin’s war on two...

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Together with ongoing insecurity and humanitarian crises, the region faces vaccine shortages, hesitancy and fake doses. For those living in Boko Haram-affected areas of the...

Boko Haram fighters pledge to Islamic State in video, worrying observers

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A group of fighters from Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram pledged allegiance to rivals the Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) weeks after the...

Boko Haram cleric confirms Shekau’s death, urges fighters’ loyalty

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A senior cleric with Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram confirmed the death of its leader and urged fighters to stay loyal in its fight...

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