Boko Haram violence spikes in Nigeria's northeast

While the government says Boko Haram has been 'technically defeated', recent developments suggest otherwise

Boko Haram violence spikes in Nigeria's northeast

In August, a report came out that appeared aligned with the official Nigerian narrative that says Boko Haram militants have been "technically defeated" in most parts of Nigeria's northeast region.

“In a survey encompassing sites in the Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, 85 percent of respondents reported witnessing a reduction in the level of violence in their communities,” the prominent West African civic group Center for Democracy and Development (CDD) said in the report. 

“Nearly 90 percent said  they believe the insurgency is subsiding or effectively over.” 

But developments in the region in the past few weeks now appear to suggest otherwise as reports emerged of militants ambushing government troops. Some have alleged a few of those reports have been promoted by the opposition for political capital.

Cited are the attacks last week in the towns of Gudumbali and Damasak, the bombing of Alau Dam which supplies water to the Borno capital Maiduguri, as well as repeated attacks in the neighboring Yobe State, or raids on different communities on the fringe of Lake Chad.

Some 21 civilians were also recently abducted in the Borno state but were since freed by Nigerian troops. 

“On a daily basis, we get reports of Boko Haram killing one or two farmers cultivating land less than 10 kilometers [a little over 6 miles] from Maiduguri without any corresponding measures,” Baba Gana Imam, a community leader said.

“These attacks [...] show that they are very much resilient and bent on proving that their forces have not been routed,” added Fred Onuoha, a security analyst and professor at the political science department at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka.