John Campbell

Africa in Transition

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

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Showing posts for "Nigeria Security Tracker"

Weekly Map of Political and Ethnic Violence in Nigeria

by John Campbell
Bomb experts search for evidences in front of buses at a bomb blast scene at Nyanyan in Abuja April 14, 2014. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) Bomb experts search for evidences in front of buses at a bomb blast scene at Nyanyan in Abuja April 14, 2014. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

Holy Week in Nigeria is off to an ugly start. A bomb detonated during rush hour at a bus station in Abuja’s suburb Nyana on April 14, killed at least seventy-one people, destroyed at least sixteen “luxury buses” and twenty-four mini buses. Nobody has yet claimed responsibility, but it has the marks of a “Boko Haram” operation. Read more »

Weekly Incidents of Violence in Nigeria

by John Campbell
Lanterns hang on the wall in a house where gunmen locked in forty-two people and set it on fire, in Angwan Gata, Kaura Local Government Kaduna State March 20, 2014. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) Lanterns hang on the wall in a house where gunmen locked in forty-two people and set it on fire, in Angwan Gata, Kaura Local Government Kaduna State March 20, 2014. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

The Nigeria Security Tracker (NST) project has developed a new infographic: “Weekly Incidents.” I anticipate publishing this new infographic weekly to show incidents of political violence on a more geographically precise and timely basis. It builds on the NST. The methodology and the definitions of the NST and “Weekly Incidents” are the same. Read more »

The Nigeria Security Tracker and Nigeria’s Continuing Fight Against Boko Haram

by John Campbell
NST Nov data

We will be posting the week of February 2, 2014, the Nigeria Security Tracker data for January, 2014. We anticipate it will show an increase in Boko Haram and security service activity at the beginning of 2014. In particular, it will take into account the late January jihadi attacks on Christian churches in Adamawa state. Read more »

Boko Haram Pivots Toward Rural Areas in Nigeria

by John Campbell
Soldiers walk through Hausari village during a military patrol near Maiduguri June 5, 2013. Burnt out vehicles and scattered rubbish is all that's left of a militant camp near Maiduguri, northern Nigeria. (Joe Brock/Reuters Staff) Soldiers walk through Hausari village during a military patrol near Maiduguri June 5, 2013. Burnt out vehicles and scattered rubbish is all that's left of a militant camp near Maiduguri, northern Nigeria. (Joe Brock/Reuters Staff)

The jihadist insurgency called Boko Haram appears to have reduced its operations in urban areas. This follows the massive deployment of security forces in northeastern Nigeria in line with the Abuja government’s June proclamation of a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa. According to the media, life has almost returned to normal in some parts of Maiduguri. However, the Nigerian security services claimed in October that they thwarted a possible terrorist attack in Kano, Nigeria’s second largest city. Read more »

Boko Haram Terror on Northern Nigeria’s Highways

by John Campbell
A woman crosses a deserted road in Bulumkutu, after the military declared a 24-hour curfew over large parts of Maiduguri in Borno State May 19, 2013. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) A woman crosses a deserted road in Bulumkutu, after the military declared a 24-hour curfew over large parts of Maiduguri in Borno State May 19, 2013. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

Drew Hinshaw in the Wall Street Journal reports Boko Haram terror on the four hundred-mile long highway between Kano (northern Nigeria’s largest city) and Maiduguri (the Northeast’s largest city). He reports incidences of chain-saw beheadings of truck drivers at the hands of Boko Haram members, perhaps an indication of the high propaganda value of such brutal murders. Read more »

Evidence Continues Mounting: Nigerian Security Forces are Out of Control

by John Campbell
The map above depicts deaths in Nigeria by state. Nigeria’s northeastern states, particularly Borno and Yobe, have been hit the hardest. (Source: CFR Nigeria Security Tracker; powered by Tableau) The map above depicts deaths in Nigeria by state. Nigeria’s northeastern states, particularly Borno and Yobe, have been hit the hardest. (Source: CFR Nigeria Security Tracker; powered by Tableau)

The Nigeria Security Tracker (NST) has long indicated that the Abuja security agencies may be involved in nearly as many deaths in Nigeria as Boko Haram or sectarian violence. Even so, the NST almost certainly under-reports security service extra-judicial killings or deaths caused by thirst, starvation, and other abuses in government prisons and detention centers. The NST data comes from open sources, usually the press; those sources have little first-hand knowledge as to what goes on in detention centers and usually reports only official statistics. International human rights organizations with ears close to the ground say publicly and privately that any official death toll should be multiplied by a factor of four or five to approach a realistic number. Read more »

Is the Nigerian Military Winning Against Boko Haram?

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A newspaper is displayed at a vendor stand in Ikoyi district in Lagos September 30, 2013. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters) A newspaper is displayed at a vendor stand in Ikoyi district in Lagos September 30, 2013. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Emily Mellgard, research associate for the Council on Foreign Relations Africa Studies program.

Five months since the imposition of the state of emergency in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states on May 14, 2013, it is clear that the dedication of ever growing numbers of troops to the region has increased, not decreased, the levels of  violence. September was the bloodiest month that the Council on Foreign Relations has yet recorded on the Nigeria Security Tracker (NST). Nation-wide, 841 people were killed. Of those, 552 died in Borno state. Read more »

Amnesty International on Student and Teacher Killings in Northern Nigeria

by John Campbell
Residents survey vehicles damaged after a bomb blast at a primary school in Maiduguri, the capital of Nigeria's Borno state February 29, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) Residents survey vehicles damaged after a bomb blast at a primary school in Maiduguri, the capital of Nigeria's Borno state February 29, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

The horror of student and teacher killings in Nigeria is amplified by Amnesty International’s almost clinical recounting and enumerating of their deaths at the hands of radical jihadists. Its report, “Keep Away from Schools or We’ll Kill You: Education Under Attack in Nigeria” is a grim must-read. Read more »

Should the United States Fear Boko Haram?

by John Campbell
Residents watch as two men walk amidst rubble after Boko Haram militants raided the town of Benisheik, west of Borno State capital Maiduguri September 19, 2013. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters) Residents watch as two men walk amidst rubble after Boko Haram militants raided the town of Benisheik, west of Borno State capital Maiduguri September 19, 2013. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters)

Whether the United States should fear Boko Haram is a big question, and one that perhaps has even greater urgency in the aftermath of the massacre in Nairobi perpetrated by another jidahist group, al-Shabaab. I have written a piece for CNN that explores this question in the aftermath of the horrific massacre last weekend at a northern Nigerian agricultural college of some sixty-five students, many while they slept. While Boko Haram has not yet claimed responsibility, it is the likely perpetrator. My CNN piece is intended as a brief primer on Boko Haram, which remains a mysterious organization in many ways, even after some four years of carnage. The Council’s Nigeria Security Tracker has tracked the violence since 2011. Read more »

Boko Haram’s Shekau: He’s Back!

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A poster advertising for the search of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau is pasted on a wall in Baga village on the outskirts of Maiduguri, in the north-eastern state of Borno May 13, 2013. (Tim Cocks/Courtesy Reuters) A poster advertising for the search of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau is pasted on a wall in Baga village on the outskirts of Maiduguri, in the north-eastern state of Borno May 13, 2013. (Tim Cocks/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Jacob Zenn, an analyst of African Affairs for the Washington D.C.-based think tank, The Jamestown Foundation, and a contributor to the West Point CTC Sentinel.

At least four times since 2009, Nigerian security officials have claimed they have killed brutal Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, who says he “slaughters infidels like rams.” On August 19, the army spokesman and Nigerian analysts suggested Shekau died in Cameroon after gunshot wounds sustained in a battle in Borno State on June 19. Other officials claimed Cameroonian border guards killed Shekau. Read more »