The stiff resistance of Boko Haram

The counter-offensive implemented in the last 15 months by President Muhammadu Buhari has forced Boko Haram to the withdrawal from many areas of the northeast Nigeria; thanks to the action of the multinational force MNJTF.

The Nigerian Army arrest four Boko Haram extremists: Credit Photo Reuters


In addition, in places devastated by Islamic terrorists, life could return to normal in the shortest possible time thanks to the work of reconstruction supported by the international community and international and local NGOs.

Some of the militants, however, have fled to neighboring cross-border, from where they try to organize outbreaks, especially to prove they are not yet defeated.

In this way, continues to lengthen the long list of armed attacks carried out by the Islamist group to the detriment of the Nigerian army troops and the civilian population, as part of a proven strategy of terror.

The last in order of time was recorded last July 18 in the Sambisa forest, where in a firefight Nigerian troops killed two armed insurgents. While a few days ago, he had been attacked the city of Rann, in the district of Kala-Balge of Borno state, near the border with Cameroon.

The area was hit last July 9, when Islamic extremists have killed seven civilians and caused the stampede of many inhabitants to Gamboru, Cameroonian town about thirty kilometers away. A month before, in an assault, always near Rann, they had died eight others people.

Internal tensions

The situation looks quite messy and for analysts is virtually impossible to establish the current offensive capability of Boko Haram, in which there would be anyway internal tensions. One thing is clear: the jihadist movement for over sixteen months is working within the Islamic state.

A bond well established that a recent study by IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre would be more significant than is commonly recognized.

The influential study center of Englewood (Colorado, USA) argues that, since March 2015, when the Nigerian jihadist group has sworn allegiance to the IS, there has been an increase in the number and lethality of suicide attacks in Nigeria and neighboring countries.

The escalation of violence and the impressive use of young female suicide bombers recall the most common operational tactics adopted by the Islamic State. The IHS analysts have detected a significant strengthening Boko Haram’s communication capabilities, thanks to developed techniques used by the Caliphate.

The group has produced video and audio messages as part of a more complex and extensive upgrading of jihadist propaganda strategy, which is accomplished by posting footage of attacks on the network, alternating Arabic to the local Hausa language and harshly criticize those who support the Federal Government.

Nevertheless, some US intelligence officials do not believe that by his oath of allegiance to date, Boko Haram has received a significant operational support and funding from the Islamic State.

In reality, one that leaves no room for difference of opinion is that Nigerian Islamists are no longer able to hit the big cities and are limited to operations in the area of Lake Chad. However, the terrorist group still holds part of its offensive capability and continues to claim victims especially in the state of Borno, where it is still structured.

Arbitrary arrest and torture

Meanwhile, the Nigerian army accused by Amnesty International and other humanitarian organizations of torture, extra-judicial killings and arbitrary arrests committed during military operations against extremists, announced that it had freed 249 prisoners, including 69 men, 46 women and 34 minors, arrested on suspicion of being linked to the Islamist group.

Investigations carried out by Nigerian security forces after the capture of 149 suspects, would not show any evidence that would demonstrate that they belong to the jihadist group.

A few days ago, Amnesty International has also denounced what is happening in Cameroon, where hundreds of people have been caught for alleged links with the Nigerian fundamentalist movement.

The NGO that fights for the respect of human rights has found that many of those arrested were killed and risk their lives to the brutish conditions in which they are held in Cameroonian prisons. Most of those arrested are alleged suspects, since was never guaranteed them a trial, let alone the possibility of appointing a lawyer.

As it documented by Amnesty International, from 2015 to today more than one hundred people, including women, were sentenced to death after summary trials, based on little evidence that subjects really had ties with Boko Haram. The worst situation was found in Maroua prison, where the inmates would be tortured and beaten until lost consciousness and some to the death.

The serious accusations have not been answered by the Yaoundé government, which seems to want to use every means for defeating the Boko Haram threat.



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