Research Fellow, International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT), the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya, Israel
David Doukhan specializes in issues of Urban Warfare Theories, Radical Islam and Terrorism.
While the eyes of the world focus on Iraq and Syria to monitor the coalition forces' progress against the Islamic State in Mosul and Al-Raqqa, the biggest democratic nation in Africa, Nigeria, records a military victory over a radical Islamic organization named Boko Haram.
In a state deeply involved in fighting extremism, radical Islamism and terrorism it is expected to see a united nation where all hands are joined and focused on winning the war in spite of political rivalries and other factors such as religion, ethnicity and economic interests. Nigeria’s endless war against Boko Haram, which has been conducted for six years now, is doing the contrary- it is splitting forces. What really happened in the north-east of Nigeria? According to the country’s President they have won the war against Boko Haram. Others think that the victory over Boko Haram has not yet been achieved. They base their arguments on the continuous vicious terrorist attacks perpetrated by Boko Haram insurgents, attacks which killed dozens of innocent civilians and are responsible for more than 2.5 million people being defined as refugees. These attacks have closed thousands of schools in the North-East, leaving the children as easy prey for the radical Islamists. The fact that Boko Haram is now the Islamic State's Province in West Africa (ISPWA) worsens the situation as the group continues to learn from and use the same strategies as ISIS in its own activities. Reports from Nigeria reflect contradictions - in this article I will attempt, to clarify the situation.
The end of 2015 was a symbolic period for the Nigerian nation. Several months prior, the newly elected President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the Nigerian military to carry out a mission to eradicate Boko Haram by a deadline of late December 2015.
Paradoxically, the sounds of war drums accentuated reaching a peak towards the end of 2015, making peace seem a distant vision. Moreover, in the immediate future, one can expect that Nigeria as a country is plummeting into a state of chaos, due to social, ethnical and religious tensions that exist within its society. At present, the Winds of War originate from three main sources: 1) the endless insurgency of Boko Haram; 2) the resurfacing of the Biafra Republic conflict; and 3) the Shia minority eventual and expected up-rise.