Monday 26 November 2018


The attack by insurgents on the 157 Task Force Battalion of the Nigerian Army in Metele village, Borno state, killing over 100 soldiers with many still missing warranted this Blog Post. This is in-spite of the fact that the Presidency has repeatedly said that 'Boko Haram (BH) has been technically defeated'! The attack took place on Monday, 19th November, 2018. As an opener, I state categorically that I salute the courage and resilience of the soldiers and other security personnel who work day and night to keep we, the citizens safe. I also condole with the families of the fallen heroes.

There are conflicting figures from the Nigerian Army which says only 23 casualties were recorded with 31 wounded. Whatever the correct figures, the takeaway is that many Nigerian soldiers have lost their lives while fighting insurgency! This appears to be one loss too many in recent times. I wish to remind us that there a number of planks on which any counter-terrorism strategy is based viz.,

*Military engagement
*Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Soft Approach (New narratives/Disarmament/Demobilisation/Re-integration etc)

There has been a lot of emphasis on the military engagement of insurgents in recent times to the detriment of Soft Approach to CVE, which entails the following:

*Presentation of counter narratives: Battle for the minds of the insurgents and indeed the local populace affected by insurgency to abandon the extant narrative and embrace a less radical one.
*Provision of more 'safe corridors' for repentant insurgents to undergo effective rehabilitation. A note of caution is necessary here. To avoid a situation where 'repentant' former BH members released into the society come back to re-group, a period of time should be allowed between 'graduating' from the safe corridor and actually re-integrating them into the society, to ensure that the community accepts them and that they are truly purged of indoctrination.
*Re-integration of the rehabilitated insurgents while ensuring less resistance to them by the locals.

Besides, the diplomatic flank seems to be failing, with Niger and Chad  pulling out of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF)! To be sure, many of the recent attacks have taken place at border towns and villages. It appears the breakdown of the alliance between Nigeria and her neighbours - Niger and Chad is taking its toll! It is heartwarming that the four-nation pact for security among West African states, including Nigeria was signed last week. This new pact should not be allowed to break down like its predecessor.

What then are my suggestions?

1) The military engagement of the insurgents should continue, but intelligence gathering should be given a pride of place. The accusation of the rank and file that they are given obsolete equipment to fight insurgents who are better equipped needs to be interrogated, thoroughly investigated and redressed.

2) The welfare of the soldiers and other security personnel engaged in the complicated, difficult and protracted asymmetric war with the insurgents should be taken more seriously.

3) Disarmament, Demobilisation, Rehabilitation & Re-integration (DDRR) of repentant insurgents should be given priority while using clerics to appeal to the psyche of the locals to aid the re-integration of ex-militants.

4) The diplomatic angle is of utmost importance. As a matter of urgency, there should be shuttle diplomacy between Nigeria and Chad/Niger/Other neighbouring countries in order to re-kindle the initial enthusiasm that made for the success of the MNJTF ab initio. Nigeria cannot fight insurgency alone, she needs the collaboration of her neighbours.

5) The Lake Chad Basin Governors' Forum (LCBGF) could be approached for help. Nigeria is a member of the Forum. The inaugural conference of the LCBGF was held in Maiduguri, Borno state, May 2018. I was there live as a facilitator. See my Blog Post on the conference - Lake Chad Basin Governors' Forum  #LCBGF

6) Policy makers should be aware of the fact that there are fifth columnists and conflict merchants within and beyond our shores who profit by the war on terror and would like it to continue. Nigeria should do the needful to identify these negative elements.

On the whole, all hands must be on deck to make Nigeria safe and secure - military, CVE, diplomatic measures, etc. Remember: This is the only country we can call ours...

Related Links

*Metele attack: Over 100 soldiers died, many are missing
*BH releases disturbing video of bloody battle with Nigerian Army
*Soldiers cry out for help, call for probe after Metele attack
*Nigeria's Metele attack: President Buhari speaks of deep shock
*Nigerian Army threatens legal action over videos of BH attacks
*Ezekwesili calls for re-assessment of Nigeria's Anti-Terrorism Strategy
*Legal framework for the prevention of terrorism in Nigeria
*Strengthening capacity to counter terrorism in Nigeria
*Preventing violent extremism: The role of communication
*Insurgency in north-east Nigeria & its implications for inter-state & trans-border mobility, 2009-2016
*The ECOWAS Counter-Terrorism Strategy
*Counter-Terrorism & implications of in-fighting within BH
*Nigerian Military set to release 155 ex-BH fighters into society
*Withdrawal of troops by Niger threatens Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF)
*Rethinking the functionality of the MNJTF   https://www,
*MNJTF counts successes in Lake Chad region
*Metele attack: NAF bombs terrorists' location
*Metele attack: Surviving soldiers send SOS to Buhari
*Metele attack: Casualty rises after BH opened fire on rescue team
*Is Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) becoming more hard-line? west-africa-becoming-more-hardline...
*Army releases 154 former BH members into society
*Metele BH attack: Only 23 soldiers killed, 31 wounded - Nigerian Army
*Nigerian Army confirms BH's use of drones and foreign fighters
*Lake Chad Basin Governors' Forum  #LCBGF
*FBI's counter-terrorism investigations now on Amazon
*Despite its divisions, BH is no weaker
*Myetti Allah endorses Buhari for 2019 elections
*Political action by the UN required to save peacekeepers' lives
*How Rwanda is teaching Peace Education through Ubumuntu Conversations
*Foreign troops in the Sahel
*Paul D. Williams on the African Peace & Security Architecture
*It takes a Village: An action agenda on the role of CSOs in the rehabilitation & reintegration of those associated with & affected by VE
*Civilian led governance & security beyond BH 
*Counter-terrorism guide: Methods & tactics of global terrorism
*The civilian fall-out from the Sahel's spreading militancy
*The ligaments of counter-terrorism regime: Sexual violence & the vicarious traumatisation of female non-governmental workers: Evidence from Nigeria by Emeka T. Njoku
*Violence against civilians is on the rise in Africa
*Total fatalities are down, but the surge in certain types of violence should concern African governments
*Negotiating with Africa's terrorists
* Responses to BH in the Lake Chad Region: Policies, Cooperation & Livelihoods   issafrica,org/research/books-and-other-publications/responses-to-boko-haram-in-the-lake-chad-region-policies.../
*Assessing the NJTF against BH
*Surviving BH: Why children under five matter
*Economics of terrorism in the Lake Chad Basin
*Conflict is still Africa's challenge in 2020
*Proceed with caution: Africa's growing foreign Military presence
*ICC identifies potential war crimes by Nigeria's Security Forces, BH
*'FG is setting our killers free' - Soldiers kick as 1,400 BH suspects are released
*Katsina massacre: Bandits snatched babies from mothers and threw them into burning fire - Village Head
*Policy Brief: Addressing armed banditry in the north-west region of Nigeria: Exploring the potentials of a multi-dimensional conflict management approach
*At least 70 Nigerian soldiers killed in BH attack near Goneri village in north Yobe state on 23rd March 2020
*BH kills 92 Chadian soldiers in seven-hour attack same day as 70 Nigerian soldiers killed in Yobe state
*The future of peace-keeping in the transition to a more peaceful world
*ISWAP fighters ambush Borno Gorvernor's convoy on September 25,2020, kill 15 security personnel
*#Sahel: High risk conflicts diffusing & affecting neighbours - Violence has coninued to spread geographically in 2020
*When two elephants fight: Insurgency, counter-insurgency & environmental suffering in North-East Nigeria
*Life after Al-Shabab: Driving a school bus instead of an armed pickup truck
*'How to resolve the wicked conflicts in our increasingly turbulent times'    by Ralph Kilmann
*Untangling SSR
*At least 110 dead in Nigeria after suspected BH attack 
*The Zabarmari massacre of farmers: Should more citizens die in these killings?
*Court Martial convicts General who complained about inadequate equipment to fight BH
*'It's totally unacceptable for government to earmark N160b for de-radicalisation of terrorists when we have  2.3 million IDPs dying of hunger - Sen. Ndume 
'Court orders Nduma remanded in prison for failing to produce Maina' - 23/11/2020
'Fugitive Maina extradited from Niger Republic' - 3/12/2020
*BH attacks Nigerian Governor's convoy, kills 9
*BH releases video 'showing Chibok girls'
*BH explained (PDF)
*Insurgency: Nigerian Military intercepts ransom payment meant for BH sect
*Overcoming BH: Faith, society & Islamic radicalisationin Northern Nigeria
*Many killed as soldiers repel BH ambush
*What we need to understand about the conflict in Northern Nigeria
*Has the Anglophone crisis diverted Cameroon's resources from fighting BH?
*BH Now
*Human rights charity blasts failings as BH rampages in Nigeria
*Reporting on BH: Front-line journalists recount traumatic experiences: Media Foundation for West Africa
*Tackling BH/ISWAP terrorists: MNJTF receives additional equipment support from EU
*A cure worse than the disease
*Cameroonian troops kill 3 BH extremists
*Human rights education as the solution to religious persecution
*Nigeria is the 3rd most terrorised country in the world - Report
*Northwestern Nigeria falling into firm grip of terrorists into firm-grip-of-terrorists/
*Account for N50trn derivation funds, militants tell Niger Delta Governors
*Military debunks claim about killing of 78 farmers in Borno
*A Bibliography on BH
*Outlasting the caliphate: The evolution of the Islamic State threat in Africa
*Ex-BH fighters deradicalised, but still un-reconciled
*Data crisis & humanitarian intervention in North-East Nigeria   https;//
*The kidnapping Deja vu
*How we actually rescued Kankara school boys - Military
*Police warn isolation during Covid-19 could push young people to extremism
*Kankara: A call for national security laws
*Ondo's worsening insecurity as litmus test for South-West Amotekun
*Can the AU help Mozambique conquer terrorism?
*Trends in terrorism: What's in the horizon for 2021?
*BH blocks Lake Chad routes
*2020 trends in terrorism: From ISIS fragmentation to lone-actor attacks
*Key trends to watch in 2021 on non-state & armed actors
*BH terroristsaffiliated with ISWA have taken over a Military base in Borno
*A holistic & comprehensive road map for interrupting & preventing terrorist recruitment
*Extremism: When should we worry?
*Attack on Capitol was the beginning of American insurgency - Counter-terrorism Experts
*Migamba Case (DRC): When mining & exploitation leads to mass crimes 
*Nextier SPD EU-funded Policy Brief: Entrenching peace: Assessing community resilience & peace-building initiatives in north-east Nigeria
*127 soldiers resign from the Nigerian Army 
*From SALWs to WMD arms control: Linkages & shared benefits
*NATO Joint Warfare Centre declares initial operational capability for wargame design
*Nigeria: Another day of abduction
*Surviving insurgency
*Climate change is fueling recruitment into armed groups
*Countering VE by re-focusing on communities
*Armed conflict location event data for 2020
*We lost nearly 70 Professors to insurgency - University of Maiduguri Don
*Nigeria: 4 incidents of student kidnap in less than 60 days    thecable.index




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