John Campbell

Africa in Transition

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

Posts by Category

Showing posts for "SHekau"

Nigeria Sacking Senior Military Officers

by John Campbell
Nigerian army chief-of-staff General Kenneth Minimah (C) leaves a closed door meeting with senators at the national assembly in Abuja, Nigeria, May 15, 2014. (Reuters/Joe Penney) Nigerian army chief-of-staff General Kenneth Minimah (C) leaves a closed door meeting with senators at the national assembly in Abuja, Nigeria, May 15, 2014. (Reuters/Joe Penney)

A Nigerian army spokesman said on June 10 that “quite a number” of senior military officers have been fired, and some have been turned over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for investigation of charges of corruption. The spokesman, Colonel Sani Kukesheka Usman, is quoted in the media as saying, “. . . not too long ago some officers were investigated for being partisan during the 2015 General Elections. Similarly, the investigation by the presidential committee investigating defense contracts revealed a lot. Some officers have already been arraigned in court by the EFCC.” He went on to say: “The military must remain apolitical and professional at all times.” Read more »

Questions About Nigeria’s Freed Chibok Schoolgirl

by John Campbell
Undated picture released May 18, 2016, by the Nigerian army of rescued Chibok schoolgirl and her baby in Maiduguri, Nigeria. She was kidnapped by Boko Haram from her school in Chibok more than two years ago. (Nigeria Military/Handout via Reuters) Undated picture released May 18, 2016, by the Nigerian army of rescued Chibok schoolgirl and her baby in Maiduguri, Nigeria. She was kidnapped by Boko Haram from her school in Chibok more than two years ago. (Nigeria Military/Handout via Reuters)

As has been the case since Boko Haram kidnapped hundreds of school girls that had been concentrated in Chibok to take their final examinations two years ago, there must be questions about Amina Ali Darsha Nkeki. According to Western and Nigerian media, she was found in the bush by members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), a vigilante group that assists the official security services in the fight against Boko Haram. She had with her a baby and a man. Read more »

Nigerian Security Services, Boko Haram, and the 2015 Zaria Shiite Massacre

by John Campbell
Shiite men talk while sitting under posters of their Islamic leaders in Zaria, Kaduna state, Nigeria, February 2, 2016. (Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde) Shiite men talk while sitting under posters of their Islamic leaders in Zaria, Kaduna state, Nigeria, February 2, 2016. (Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde)

In 2009, following Boko Haram’s apparent revolt, the details of which remain murky and contentious, the Nigerian security services, mostly the army, destroyed the group’s Maiduguri compound. The army arrested then Boko Haram leader, Mohammed Yusuf, and turned him over to the police, who extrajudicially murdered him. The army killed at least eight hundred of his followers and family members. Boko Haram survivors went underground only to emerge in 2011 under a new, bloodthirsty leader: Abubakar Shekau. Read more »

Caution Required About New Video from Boko Haram’s Shekau

by John Campbell
A screenshot from the video most recently credited to Abubakar Shekau of Boko Haram, March 24, 2016. A screenshot from the video most recently credited to Abubakar Shekau of Boko Haram, March 24, 2016.

Abubakar Shekau has been the face of Boko Haram, the radical Islamist terrorist movement associated with the killing of more than twenty thousand in northern Nigeria since 2009. The group is responsible for about two hundred deaths thus far in 2016, and more than two million internally displaced persons. In the past Shekau regularly issued videos, many of which featured grisly scenes of beheadings and other violence against Nigerian security service and other official personnel. Some of the videos were long. Shekau usually spoke in Hausa and Arabic, and occasionally in English. Then he went silent and his videos were replaced by no one. His last video appeared in March 2015 when he pledged allegiance to the so-called Islamic State. In August 2015 he (or someone) issued a brief audio recording, though it was unclear where or when it was made. However, on March 24, 2016 he allegedly issued a video, seven minutes in length, also in Hausa and Arabic. Read more »

Nigerian Army to Shut Markets Where Boko Haram Trades

by John Campbell
Men walk in front of election posters at an open market in Kano, March 27, 2015. (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic) Men walk in front of election posters at an open market in Kano, March 27, 2015. (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)

In a February 9 statement, acting Director of Army Public Relations Sani Usman said that the military will be shutting markets in Yobe and Borno states where traders “have clandestinely been aiding the terrorists (Boko Haram) with logistics and other supplies through smuggling and other forms of illicit trading, thus sustaining them while the merchants of death make money out of it.” Hence, “from now on, some markets identified to be engaging in this illegal trade with the adversary in Borno and Yobe states will be closed.” He also said that the traders were “sabotaging the successes… against the Boko Haram insurgency.” Read more »

Nigerian President Buhari’s Sysyphean Efforts

by John Campbell
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari addresses the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, February 3, 2016. (Reuters/Vincent Kessler) Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari addresses the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, February 3, 2016. (Reuters/Vincent Kessler)

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s anticorruption campaign continues to gain credibility. Over the weekend, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) searched the Abuja residence of former Vice President Namadi Sambo and found documents that it described as “helpful.” Read more »

Nigeria Security Tracker: Weekly Update January 16-22

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 to January 16, to January 22, 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 »

Anniversary of Nigeria’s Baga Massacre

by John Campbell
This map shows where Baga is in relation to Maiduguri, Abuja, and Lagos in Nigeria. (Allen Grane/Google Maps) This map shows where Baga is in relation to Maiduguri, Abuja, and Lagos in Nigeria. (Allen Grane/Google Maps)

The Guardian (London) reminds its readers that it has been one year since Boko Haram massacred an estimated 2,000 people and, in effect, destroyed Baga, a city of 300,000 in northern Nigeria. Its correspondent, Eromo Egbejule reports that the city remains virtually empty, with less than one thousand people still living there. The Guardian reports that the Buhari administration has not commented on the Baga anniversary, and there are no plans to commemorate what up to now is the largest Boko Haram massacre. Local people report that Boko Haram no longer occupies major towns, but are ambushing travelers and attacking villages. Read more »

Nigeria Security Tracker: Weekly Update January 2-8

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 to January 2, to January 8, 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 Buhari Moves to Fix Deficiencies in Fight Against Boko Haram

by John Campbell
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari (C) stands at the opening of the 48th ordinary session of ECOWAS Authority of Head of States and Government in Abuja, Nigeria, December 16, 2015. (Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde) Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari (C) stands at the opening of the 48th ordinary session of ECOWAS Authority of Head of States and Government in Abuja, Nigeria, December 16, 2015. (Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde)

Nigerian security service abuses have been a driver of recruitment for Boko Haram, the radical, jihadist movement that seeks to destroy the secular state. Abuses have reflected poor leadership, poor training, and lack of resources. Hence, the Buhari administration’s arrests of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s National Security Advisor Sambo Dasuki in December and his Defence Minister Bello Haliru Mohammed on January 5, are particularly significant. Read more »