The Centre for Counter-Terrorism and Preventive Diplomacy has called on world powers to support Nigeria in her counter-terror campaign with sophisticated technology to track financiers and sponsors of terrorists’ activities in the country.
The centre made this call in an experts’ opinion/report on the threat posed by Boko Haram/ISWAP to Nigeria and the fringes of the Lake Chad region.
The report also gave a detailed account of various atrocities committed by ISIS against humanity ranging from threats to women and children to economic threats to the people of Nigeria
The report, which has been sent to the offices of the US President, British Prime Minister, Russia President, and other world powers, called for the need for tracking of funding by the terrorists, serious sanctions on collaborators.
The report compiled by Elizabeth Robertson, George-Washington, Alexandra Thome and Christopher Stuart and obtained by our reporter on Monday, noted that failure to look at the underlisted recommendations would be equal to the total breach of the world’s obligations to the citizens.
The report reads in full.
The Centre for Counter-Terrorism and Preventive Diplomacy was alarmed with the recent activities of members of the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) as well as Boko Haram in Nigeria and around the fringes of the Lake Chad Region.
Consequently, a special committee was set up with the mandate to commission detailed research on the activities of ISWAP/Boko Haram in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region in a bid to make recommendations on how best the ISWAP/Boko Haram menace can be addressed.
The Islamic State in West Africa or the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (abbreviated as ISWA or ISWAP formerly known as Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihād and commonly known as Boko Haram until March 2015 is a jihadist terrorist organization based in north-eastern Nigeria, also active in Chad, Niger, and northern Cameroon.
Since the early 2010s, the jihadist armed group Boko Haram has wielded power and influence in north-eastern Nigeria and parts of adjoining states in the Lake Chad basin. The group clawed its way back from a failed uprising in July 2009 against the Nigerian government that left more than 1,000 dead, including the group’s founder, Mohammed Yusuf, to re-emerge as a full-fledged insurgency under the command of one of Yusuf’s lieutenants, Abubakar Shekau, a year later.
Over the next five years, and at an unusually rapid pace between 2013 and 2015, the group seized control of much of Nigeria’s Borno state and began operating in border areas of neighbouring Niger, Chad, and Cameroon. They plundered villages and bombed markets and churches, as well as mosques it deemed “infidel.” In April 2014 it staged the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno state. This mass abduction, which earned it global condemnation, was only one in a long series of violent incidents of striking brutality.
The Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) is growing in power and influence. From its territorial base on the banks and islands of Lake Chad, this jihadist group is waging a guerrilla war across north-eastern Nigeria and elsewhere on the lake’s periphery. It has cultivated a level of support among local civilians and has turned neglected communities in the area and islands in Lake Chad into a source of economic support.
As its name suggests, ISWAP is affiliated with the Islamic State, or ISIS, caliphate in Iraq and Syria, whose remnants count ISWAP victories as their own. ISWAP appears to be working hard to gain enormous favour from its namesake organization, and it has obtained some support already, notably in the form of training.
ISWAP’s deepening roots in the Lake Chad Basin Region underscore that the Nigerian government (and, to a lesser extent, those of Cameroon, Chad, and Niger) must stand firm in its commitment to confront them. This can only be achieved if the rest of the world take a strong diplomatic position to support these countries with extra funding, technology and sophisticated fighting equipment.
The Lake Chad basin has in recent years become an essential epicentre of violence, its population suffering intensified attacks by the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP), also known as Boko Haram. At the end of 2014, ISWAP’s violence expanded from northeast Nigeria to Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. Multiple suicide bombings and raids targeting civilians in villages and cities around the Lake Chad basin have caused widespread trauma.
Last year and in the first months of 2016, violence by ISWAP generated a mass movement of people within the Lake Chad region as well as, on a smaller scale, an influx of refugees from neighbouring Nigeria. Also, the Chadian government’s response to ISWAP attacks forced tens of thousands of residents of the Lake area to leave their villages.
In early June, around 70,000 people were forced from their homes in Niger’s south-eastern Bosso area when ISWAP carried out a series of raids. Attacks by the armed group have been on the rise in southern Niger since March, as a result of increased pressure from military operations in Nigeria and Cameroon.
Since July last year, ISWAP has intensified attacks on military targets, killing dozens of soldiers and overrunning bases, mainly in the Lake Chad area of Nigeria, Chad, and Niger where it is the dominant insurgent group.
In late December, when ISWAP fighters overran two military bases in and around the fishing town of Baga, east of Borno state capital Maiduguri on the shores of Lake Chad. Images released by ISIS appeared to show large quantities of weapons, vehicles and other equipment captured during the fighting in and around Baga.
ISWAP also attacked nearby military locations in Cross-Kauwa, Kukawa, Kekeno, and Bunduram, and made three unsuccessful attempts to overrun Monguno, prompting preparations for a military offensive in the area late last year.
In May, ISIS released video featured extensive battle footage of attacks against military bases which appear to have been carried out between November and January, including assaults in Kareto, Arege, and Baga in the Lake Chad area of Borno state.
Since May 2019, ISIS attributed insurgent activities in the Mali-Burkina Faso-Niger tri-border area to its West Africa Province affiliate, rather than to what was previously known as Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.
In a June 15 in an ISIS propaganda video, ISWAP militants purportedly in Nigeria, Mali, and Burkina Faso were shown reaffirming their pledge of allegiance to ISIS leader Baghdadi.