The Alleged Decline of Boko Haram

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Called the world’s deadliest terrorist group, Boko Haram has reportedly been on the decline for several months now. Recently, Johns Hopkins University has stated that Boko Haram had killed 244 people in the second quarter of 2016. While a morbid statistic, the report’s silver lining lies in the fact that these numbers are the lowest they have been in a little over five years.

Much of the increasing declination stems from the lack of stable leadership within the organization. In early August of 2016, ISIL named Abu-Musab al-Barnawi as the new leader of the group. However, the previous leader, Abubakar Shekau, rejected ISIL’s decision and vowed to contest Barnawi. Consequently, Boko Haram has split into pro-Barnawi and pro-Shekau factions, prompting unrest and armed clashes.

Just last month, the president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, stated that they had won the fight against the militant group. President Buhari announced his news following the destruction of the final Boko Haram camp in Sambisa Forest. However, this is not the first time the Nigerian government has declared the fall of the infamous group. Similar announcements were made in both early 2014 and late 2015, only to be proved wrong by the incessant terrorist attacks.

Boko Haram still occupies massive amounts of rural territory in Nigeria, as well as maintaining a significant presence in the marshlands around Lake Chad. In addition, fighters from the organization have relocated into neighboring countries, setting up outposts and spreading destruction all the while.

While Nigerian government officials have publicly proclaimed the collapse of Boko Haram, the terrorist organization has persisted, orchestrating and carrying out attacks and bombings all over Nigeria. Amid the failed attempts at stopping Boko Haram, it seems that only time will truly tell.


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The Alleged Decline of Boko Haram