ATbar Defeating Boko Haram: The Reality on the Ground is Deceptive

Defeating Boko Haram: The Reality on the Ground is Deceptive

26/11/2015 | by Doukhan, David (Dr.)  

In the beginning of 2015, the Federal Government of Nigeria decided to militarily tackle Boko Haram with the goal of annihilating the phenomenon. The decision was made for the following reasons: 1) the upcoming presidential elections; 2) the unprecedented success of Boko Haram in the North-East in conquering territories; 3) the unbearable degree of cruelty towards the local population shown by the group; 4) the leak of the war into neighboring countries, which threatened the area’s stability.

As a result of this decision, it seems - according to reports, specifically from military sources - that Boko Haram is losing ground and is suffering from heavy casualties. If this is true, this is good news; there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Nevertheless, since doubts on the credibility of the information remain in the background, it is suggested to wait a while before claiming military victory over Boko Haram.

Defeating the group, from a military point of view, doesn't mean that the Boko Haram phenomenon has passed and the North-East problems are over; the extremist ideology and the jihadi spirit are still there as well as the socio-economic differences, tribal and religion tensions, poverty and lack of basic infrastructure, etc. - all factors that empowered the insurgency. The Nigerian government, in order to bring this area back to its full control and influence has much to do in various fields, to show and convince, especially the autochthons that with the army they can sustain the North-East area for long-term and change life conditions there.

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