TOPICS: Boko Haram, Nigeria, The Civilian Task Force, Insurgency, Terrorism, Restorative Justice
Christian Chereji and Ciprian Sandu
ARTICLES in Special Issue Boko Haram – December 2015:
Resistance to Boko Haram: Civilian Joint Task Forces in North-Eastern Nigeria
The vast bulk of youth studies on Africa are skewed towards the view of youth as enfants terribles and ‘coming anarchy,’ with little or no attempt to understand and explain ways in which youth have created and continue to create alternative lives for themselves under conditions of great adversity. Such popular narratives – while rooted in ideas of youth idleness, ennui and engagement in crime – are mute on the considerable social agency and potential shown by Africa’s youth, as well as their legitimate grievances against alienating and corrupt governments that have dashed their promise of maturity. Drawing on a case study from northern, especially northeastern, Nigeria, my overriding aim in this article is to show how a cohort of youth – the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) or yan gora (men with sticks) – from this impoverished region are coping with the violent campaign of Boko Haram and ‘government haram’, especially in ways that both underscore their social agency and their capacity to make a difference in their local communities. A key argument emerging from the analysis suggests that youth are not simply victims or perpetrators of terror, but also active agents of counter-terrorism in their local communities. In making this case, the article draws on a range of sources, including press materials, formal and informal interactions with affected Nigerians, and cumulative observation of unfolding events in northeastern Nigeria.
Boko Haram, Civilian Joint Task Force, Youth, Nigeria, Insurgency
Changing the Pattern of Warfare: Boko Haram Insurgency in Nigeria
Ferdinand O. OTTOH
The paper focuses on the changing pattern of warfare in Africa arising from the proliferation of armed non-state groups ranging from ethnic militias, Islamist fundamentalist, rebel groups and insurgent movements. It argues that the insurgency is rooted in the complex identity crisis as a result of pluralism of states in Africa. The paper seeks to advance our understanding of African conflicts, or warfare, by going beyond the conventional and fashionable analysis among Euro-centric and some Afro-centric scholars. Combining some theoretical insights and rich empirical details, the paper illuminates the forces and factors that are responsible for the insurgency in Nigeria and the effects on the socio-economic and political stability. Nigeria offers the most fertile environment for terrorist recruitment and radicalization. In such environment, one aggrieved would unleash terror as a way to drive their demand. The data collected through secondary sources will be qualitatively analyzed. It concludes that a rich and culture-sensitive approach of neutralizing terrorist radicalization, promotion of religious moderation, non-violent approach to conflict resolution, mutual co-existence will be the basis for peace and stability in Nigeria.
Warfare, War, Insurgency, Terrorism, Regular, Irregular, Guerrilla Warfare, Political Islam, Radical Extremism.
Beyond the Shadows of Terrorism: Boko Haram Crisis in North-Eastern Nigeria
Mindful of the threat Boko Haram terrorism poses to Nigeria, the Nigerian state, even before the Boko Haram terrorist’s attacks, had made commendable strides towards preventing and combating terrorism in the country. The article critically analyses the antecedent of Boko Haram crisis in Nigeria. It also argues that a more effective implementation of strategies supporting counter-terrorism initiatives will not only help rid the North-East region of terrorist activities and associated threats, but will also help combat other criminal aspects of Nigerian society and security threats. Nonetheless, if the drivers of Nigeria’s counter-terrorism agenda do not steer clear of historical development of Boko Haram crisis in line with its justification and socio-economic toll of Boko Haram Islamic militant movement in Nigeria, it is probable that the counter-terrorism efforts of the state would be counter-productive, potentially undermining its own security.
Nigeria, Boko Haram, History, North-East Region, Justification, Economic Implications.
Security Crisis in Nigeria: Boko Haram Insurgency and the Prospects of Peace
Olajide O. AKANJI
Insecurity is a difficult subject about which to generalise, considering the variations in context, actors and actions involved. This article, however, analyses cases from Nigeria that enhance understanding of the contextual and structural conditions that underline the phenomenon. Using secondary data that are content analysed and descriptively presented, the article investigates and offers insight into the conundrum of security threats in Nigeria, with a particular focus on the Boko Haram insurgency. It examines the nature, trends and dynamics of the Boko Haram insurgency, and its impacts on the Nigerian state. The article argues that threats to Nigeria’s security are diverse, affecting inter-ethnic cohesion, territorial integrity, unity, stability and sovereignty of the country, as well as the wellbeing of the people. In particular, the Boko Haram insurgency in the north-east, which metamorphosed from a localised threat to a national and sub-regional security problem and an issue of global concern, had serious and deeply severe impact, having caused the death of tens of thousands and displacement of millions of people particularly women and children in Nigeria and the Lake Chad sub-region. The multiple dynamic forms/manifestations and highly reticent nature of the insurgency contributed to the impact it had. The article, however, argues and concludes that the Boko Haram insurgence and security threats in Nigeria are better understood within the context of the character and the political economy of the country, which encourages and predisposes people to radicalisation, extremism and violent crimes, and that of the international system.
Security Crisis, Boko Haram, Insurgency, Security Threats, Terrorism, Nigeria
Winning Boko Haram With Restorative Justice
Jean-Marie Kasonga MBOMBO
For more than a decade, Nigeria has not been able to militarily defeat the Boko Haram insurgency even with the logistical support coming from the neighbouring countries. This study adopts a case study model and critically appraises the merits of hard power in ϔighting domestic terrorism on the basis of secondary data. Guided by the theory of restorative justice, it contends that a viable alternative consists of rebuilding relationships between the victims and offenders with the help of their base communities. In other words, sustainable peace requires that atrocities are acknowledged by those who commit them (offenders); victims are empowered to reconcile with their offenders and constructive steps are taken to ensure that further atrocities are prevented.
Terrorism, Restorative Justice, Negotiation and Reconciliation.