A Special Report by Nigeria Security Network on the growing threat posed by Boko Haram. Since 2009, the group has changed tactics and strategy, now becoming a conventional fighting force that has managed to withstand, and even counter, Nigerian military attempts to contain it. As a result, more and more territory has been taken and the prospects for seeing the group dwindling in size and capacity are grim.
Nigeria is losing control of large parts of the north-east region. For the first time in its history, Boko Haram is seizing and holding onto territory outside of its hideouts in Sambisa and the Mandara Mountains. In recent days and weeks, the insurgents have seized a string of villages and towns, primarily in Borno but also in Yobe and Adamawa. Fig. 1 gives an indication of some of the population centres the group has captured or is contesting, and the extent of their operational presence.
The report offers a series of recommendations for action, on the part of the Nigerian and Cameroonian government, and the international community.