View Full Version : Nigeria watching 2018 onwards

12-08-2017, 09:28 PM
Hat tip to WoTR for this book review of Alexander Thurston's 'Boko Haram: The History of an African Jihadist Movement' by a US SOF officer who has served recently in Nigeria.

Link to the book itself, ls has no reviews:https://www.amazon.com/Boko-Haram-Jihadist-Movement-Princeton/dp/0691172242

The NYT reports a certain downside:https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/08/world/africa/boko-haram-nigeria-security-forces-rape.html

01-14-2018, 05:13 PM
A short article lby Alex Thurston, a Visiting Assistant Professor of African Studies at Georgetown University, whose book was published in late 2017, 'Boko Haram: The History of an African Jihadist Movement'.

He ends with:
Nigeria is one of the most complicated countries in the world. Any resolution to the Boko Haram conflict will require a good deal of experimentation, trial and error, and even luck. It may also take quite a long time.Link:http://www.lawfareblog.com/five-myths-about-boko-haram

01-16-2018, 07:47 PM
A new thread for 2018, a little late and the issues within Nigeria are hardly likely to subside.

There are two previous threads, both closed:Nigeria: the context for violence' (2006-2013) with 965 posts and 174,856 views;Nigeria 2013-2017 (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/Nigeria 2013-2017) with 254 posts and 163,780 views.

Alas our only declared Nigerian member stopped posting in July 2015, after nearly a thousand posts.

There are two 2018 posts to move here, so in a moment that will appear first.

01-25-2018, 08:26 AM
An array of graphs and charts by BBC Monitoring:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-42735414

01-31-2018, 10:02 PM
A report (not read yet) that promises:
This report by Open Briefing examines the effectiveness of the use of remote warfare by the Nigerian government, its regional allies and Western states to counter the threat of Boko Haram. With the rise of Boko Haram, international support to Nigeria and its neighbours has increased, with the US, the UK, France, Russia and China providing training, equipment, intelligence and military aid. The evolution of the Boko Haram insurgency over 2017 presents an opportunity for reflection and evaluation.
The analysis for this report shows that while the operations carried out by the Nigerian military, alongside its regional and international partners, have degraded Boko Haram, they have also encouraged the factional forces to metastasise, build resilience and craft new tactics to sustain ongoing political violence.

06-25-2018, 12:29 PM
A video (55 mins) of an address to RUSI June 18th by the Nigerian Army Chief of Army Staff. The introduction refers to:
General Buratai is noted for his beliefs that the solution to combatting the insurgency does not lie in military operations alone – he is a proponent of comprehensive efforts involving both the Nigerian military and civil population. He will expand on how his differing approach to leadership of the Nigerian Army has advanced the battle against Boko Haram.
Link:https://rusi.org/event/degradation-boko-haram-northeastern-nigeria-what%E2%80%99s-next-nigerian-army? (https://rusi.org/event/degradation-boko-haram-northeastern-nigeria-what%E2%80%99s-next-nigerian-army?utm_source=RUSI+Newsletter&utm_campaign=529153c577-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_06_07_02_15_COPY_02&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0c9bbb5ef0-529153c577-46321677)

I have not listened to this yet.

09-21-2018, 01:36 PM
A short 2016 report from an African think tank, that I spotted this week and interesting as the focus is on policing.

The Summary states:
As in much of Africa, the vast majority of security threats facing Nigeria are internal, often involving irregular forces such as insurgents, criminal gangs, and violent religious extremists. Effectively combating such threats requires cooperation from local communities—cooperation limited by low levels of trust in security forces who often have reputations for corruption, heavy-handedness, and politicization. Tackling modern security threats, then, is directly tied with improving the governance and oversight of the security sector, especially the police. Key paths forward include clarifying the structure of command and oversight, strengthening merit-based hiring and promotion processes, and better regulating private and voluntary security providers.

The Highlights:

Low levels of trust in the Nigerian police limit public cooperation critical to combatting internal security threats from irregular forces such as insurgents, criminal gangs, and extremists.
Allegations of corruption, heavy-handedness, and politicization have dogged the Nigeria Police Force for years. However, a lack of political will has perpetuated a culture of impunity, weak oversight, and an unwillingness to absorb lessons learned from previous efforts at police reform.
Improving the effectiveness of the Nigerian police depends on governance reforms. Depoliticizing the appointment and promotion processes for senior police officers and genuinely empowering oversight bodies are critical steps to opening a sustainable path to reform and rebuilding trust with local communities.


10-06-2018, 02:40 PM
Something different, judge for yourself if it will make a difference.

10-22-2018, 07:07 PM
The regional SME Alex Thurston, a Visiting Assistant Professor of African Studies at Georgetown University has a short article that reviews the writings of Colonel Timothy Antigha, a Nigerian Army spokesman. It ends with:
In conclusion, read the whole piece. It is the most interesting Nigerian government/military statement that I’ve seen about Boko Haram in quite some time. Again, I don’t agree with all of it, but it does give a window into how *some* top military officials see the jihadist organization. A final question, as with figures in the previous administration who also seemed to have a sophisticated viewpoint, is how much influence such analysts really have – or whether the guys who think in terms of body counts are the dominant figures after all.

There are embedded links to the Colonel's articles.

11-25-2018, 05:02 PM
Earlier this week there were reports on a IS affiliate attack on a Nigerian Army base, with forty to one hundred soldiers killed; just as the Nigeria government claimed victory was near.
Link:https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-46328274? (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-46328274?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/c50znx8v132t/nigeria&link_location=live-reporting-story) and today: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-46333126?

Today via Twitter I found a scathing commentary by Eeben Barlow, whose PMC was involved in advising the Nigerian Army before the election of President Buhari, who promptly ordered them out. Here are two passages:
......rumours also bubble beneath the surface that President Buhari viewed Boko Haram as an instrument that could reduce the force and standing of the military and thereby protect him from a possible coup d’état.

Ultimately, the innocent suffer and soldiers die, and every tactical victory Boko Haram achieves merely incentivises them to continue. This also gives impetus to the plans and actions of other radical terror groups across the continent.
North-eastern Nigeria is an example of what can happen when intelligence is rejected in favour of a false narrative.
Don’t blame the armed forces when poor political decisions result in the deaths of people.

12-11-2018, 10:09 AM
A commentary on the return of:
Since 2009, when Boko Haram first launched its insurgency, the group’s most recognisable leader has been Abubakar Shekau....In the last few months, there have been indications that Shekau is preparing for yet another resurrection. How this plays out could fundamentally shift the course of the insurgency going forwards.

12-29-2018, 05:46 PM
Recommended via Twitter by @bokowatch as essential reading:
It's been a trying year for Nigerian security, esp the Boko Haram crisis; below are some of the key articles and analyses from 2018 for reflecting on what transpired this past year (but by no means comprehensively including all important research on the subject):


https://www.academia.edu/37964841/_Some_Advice_and_Guidelines_The_History_of_Global_ Jihad_in_Nigeria_as_Narrated_by_AQIM_al-Qaeda_in_the_Islamic_Maghreb_


https://peccaviconsulting.wordpress.com/2018/09/27/battle-of-the-fobs-boko-haram-iswaps-2018-rainy-season-offensive-2/ (https://chitrasudhanagarajan.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/civilian-perceptions-of-the-yan-gora.pdf)










01-01-2019, 03:05 PM
“Boko haram has taken over Baga town,” said the source. “More than 2,000 troops are there trapped, and 700 are missing. [Air Force] jets cannot do anything now because the soldiers are trapped in their midst”.

SaharaReporters could not independently verify the figures being mentioned, but a security source said it was "highly possible", considering Baga is the headquarters of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) — a formation comprising units, mostly military, from Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria, and boasting between 7,500 and 10,000 personnel.


See also
https://thedefensepost.com/2018/12/31/nigeria-army-deploys-monguno-baga-boko-haram-iswa/?fbclid=IwAR2ri42WQAvDEhlNRx7ACme4KzF7OrbIjvGO1USL Ln431dHuJYeiSdJwLRI

01-15-2019, 12:07 AM
International Joint Operation to remove uranium from a Nigerian reactor, October 2018

01-30-2019, 09:24 PM
Four different articles, one by a former senior UK General - which is surprisingly optimistic unlike the next two. One of which is by an OSINT analyst from Nigeria (which is from late 2018, although more recent posts exist on his website). Then a World Politics Review and an academic article

From General Mike Jackson:https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2019/01/what-we-can-learn-from-the-british-armys-help-in-the-fight-against-boko-haram/?utm_source=Adestra&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Evening%20_Blend_290012019-1&utm_campaign=Evening_Blend

The OSINT author on the current situation in Novemeber 2018:https://peccaviconsulting.wordpress.com/2018/11/30/game-changers-in-the-north-eastern-nigerian-security-situation/comment-page-1/#comment-1627 and on attacks on FOBs in 2018:https://peccaviconsulting.wordpress.com/2018/09/17/battle-of-the-fobs-boko-haram-iswaps-2018-rainy-season-offensive-1/comment-page-1/#comment-1630

The WPR commentary, from October 2018:https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/26632/year-of-the-debacle-how-nigeria-lost-its-way-in-the-war-against-boko-haram

The academic article refers to:
This paper provides a detailed summary and analysis of “Slicing Off the Tumour,” a text written by two sons of Muhammad Yusuf (d. 2009), founder of the Nigerian Jihadi movement known as “Boko Haram,” and recently (2018) pub-lished by the Islamic State.


03-28-2019, 04:45 PM
Hat tip to WoTR for this first-hand commentary by a Nigerian, who works for the London-based Tony Blair Institute. It opens with:
In October, I was the first researcher to visit Operation Safe Corridor, a military facility on the outskirts of Gombe, Nigeria, that houses a bold experiment in jihadist deradicalization. At the site, 157 former Boko Haram fighters who laid down their arms and turned themselves in under the government’s amnesty offer are going through a program to reintegrate them back into society.
This program may be the best path to peace, but its potentially fraught nature is clear. Deradicalization of former Boko Haram militants will not succeed if the broader contours of the conflict are not dealt with. Specifically, a wider justice and reconciliation package — one that convinces, prepares, and equips communities to receive former fighters — and sustained pressure from the military are needed.