John Campbell

Africa in Transition

Campbell tracks political and security developments across sub-Saharan Africa.

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Showing posts for "Boko Haram"

Boko Haram’s Shekau is Back Again

by John Campbell
The purported leader of Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram Abubakar Shekau appears at an unknown location in a still image taken from an undated video posted on social media on September 25, 2016. (Reuters) The purported leader of Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram Abubakar Shekau appears at an unknown location in a still image taken from an undated video posted on social media on September 25, 2016. (Reuters)

The Nigeria Security Tracker shows a significant fall in Boko Haram activity over the past year. Following peaks in 2014 and 2015, the levels of violence associated with Boko Haram have returned to the level of 2011. The self-proclaimed Islamic State apparently demoted Abubakar Shekau from his leadership position of the organization’s West African province. Shekau ostensibly accepted the demotion—he did not revoke his allegiance—and returned to the imam title he formerly used. The Nigerian military has repeatedly claimed that it has killed or seriously wounded Shekau, most recently after an August 23 airstrike. Read more »

Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: September 17 – September 23

by John Campbell
The map above depicts deaths in Nigeria by state. (Source: CFR Nigeria Security Tracker; powered by Tableau) The map above depicts deaths in Nigeria by state. (Source: CFR Nigeria Security Tracker; powered by Tableau)

Below is a visualization and description of some of the most significant incidents of political violence in Nigeria from September 17, 2016 to September 23, 2016. This update also represents violence related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. These incidents will be included in the Nigeria Security Tracker. Read more »

Life in Nigeria’s Maiduguri during the Boko Haram Struggle

by John Campbell
A security personnel gestures at the Bakkasi camp for Internally Displaced People (IDP), after security was called in to control a protest rally held to demonstrate against what the IDPs said was a poor distribution of food rations, in Maiduguri, Borno state, Nigeria, August 29, 2016. (Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde) A security personnel gestures at the Bakkasi camp for Internally Displaced People (IDP), after security was called in to control a protest rally held to demonstrate against what the IDPs said was a poor distribution of food rations, in Maiduguri, Borno state, Nigeria, August 29, 2016. (Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde)

What was it actually like to live in Maiduguri, one of Nigeria’s larger cities, and ground zero during the Boko Haram assault? Official restrictions on the media and all but non-existent security meant no stream of reporting akin to that of, say, Edward R. Murrow and many other journalists during the London blitz of World War II. There are no photographs of Maiduguri of the genre of St. Paul’s dome floating above the smoke of a burning London. Read more »

Famine in Northeast Nigeria

by John Campbell
A girl displaced as a result of Boko Haram attacks in the northeast region of Nigeria, uses a mortar and pestle at a camp for internally displaced people in Yola, Adamawa State, January 14, 2015. (Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde) A girl displaced as a result of Boko Haram attacks in the northeast region of Nigeria, uses a mortar and pestle at a camp for internally displaced people in Yola, Adamawa State, January 14, 2015. (Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde)

Michelle Faul, writing for AP, reports on the horrific famine now underway in Northeast Nigeria. She quotes Doctors without Borders as characterizing the crisis as “catastrophic.” She also quotes an American midwife who runs a feeding center as saying “These are kids that basically have been hungry all their lives, and some are so far gone that they die here in the first 24 hours.” Read more »

Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: September 10 – September 16

by John Campbell
The map above depicts deaths in Nigeria by state. (Source: CFR Nigeria Security Tracker; powered by Tableau) The map above depicts deaths in Nigeria by state. (Source: CFR Nigeria Security Tracker; powered by Tableau)

Below is a visualization and description of some of the most significant incidents of political violence in Nigeria from September 10, 2016 to September 16, 2016. This update also represents violence related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. These incidents will be included in the Nigeria Security Tracker. Read more »

The American University of Nigeria and the Adamawa Peace Initiative

by John Campbell
A woman, who was freed by the Nigerian army from Boko Haram militants in the Sambisa forest, feeds her child at the Malkohi camp for internally displaced people in Yola, Nigeria, May 3, 2015.  (Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde) A woman, who was freed by the Nigerian army from Boko Haram militants in the Sambisa forest, feeds her child at the Malkohi camp for internally displaced people in Yola, Nigeria, May 3, 2015. (Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde)

The following text is the entirety of John Campbell’s speech delivered at Winning the Peace in Northeast Nigeria, hosted by the Congressional Nigerian Caucus and the American University of Nigeria, Yola, in Washington, D.C., September 12, 2016. Read more »

Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: September 3 – September 9

by John Campbell
The map above depicts deaths in Nigeria by state. (Source: CFR Nigeria Security Tracker; powered by Tableau) The map above depicts deaths in Nigeria by state. (Source: CFR Nigeria Security Tracker; powered by Tableau)

Below is a visualization and description of some of the most significant incidents of political violence in Nigeria from September 3, 2016 to September 9, 2016. This update also represents violence related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. These incidents will be included in the Nigeria Security Tracker. Read more »

Nigeria’s Boko Haram: Now, They are Killing Each Other

by John Campbell
A Boko Haram flag flies in Damasak, Nigeria March 24, 2015. (Reuters/Joe Penney) A Boko Haram flag flies in Damasak, Nigeria March 24, 2015. (Reuters/Joe Penney)

Agence France Press (AFP) is carrying a report of fighting between the Boko Haram factions led respectively by Abubakar Shekau and Abu Musab al-Barnawi. The fighting took place in villages near Lake Chad: Yewle, Arafa, and Zuwa. The number killed appears to have ranged from three to “several” to “unspecified.” Nevertheless, the report has an unusual degree of specificity that lends it credibility, though the Nigerian military declined to comment when contacted by AFP. Based on eye-witness reports, the al-Barnawi faction seems to have been the aggressor. Read more »

“Desire for Theocracy”

by John Campbell
People gather at the mosque located outside the palace of the emir of Zazzau to watch the Durbar parade in Zaria, Kaduna state, Nigeria, September 26, 2015. (Reuters/Stringer) People gather at the mosque located outside the palace of the emir of Zazzau to watch the Durbar parade in Zaria, Kaduna state, Nigeria, September 26, 2015. (Reuters/Stringer)

Emma Green has published in The Atlantic her interview with Shadi Hamid, author of Islamic Exceptionalism. Her interview amounts to a riff of his book’s arguments. His focus is on why Muslims, especially in Europe, would turn to violent extremism. It has insights that are also applicable to jihadi movements in Africa, such as Boko Haram. Read more »

Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: August 27 – September 2

by John Campbell
The map above depicts deaths in Nigeria by state. (Source: CFR Nigeria Security Tracker; powered by Tableau) The map above depicts deaths in Nigeria by state. (Source: CFR Nigeria Security Tracker; powered by Tableau)

Below is a visualization and description of some of the most significant incidents of political violence in Nigeria from August 27, 2016 to September 2, 2016. This update also represents violence related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. These incidents will be included in the Nigeria Security Tracker. Read more »