The Boko Haram Crisis: Responses by State and non-State Actors to a Security Challenge in the Lake Chad Region

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

This study is to demonstrate the response of the international community against Boko Haram insurgency as well as the reaction of the Nigerian government and the regional countries of the Lake Chad Basin (Chad, Benin, Niger, Cameroon) in tackling the violence. Boko Haram has caused severe humanitarian crisis in the region as more than two million people have been displaced. The international community primarily focuses on creating basic secure conditions for refugees to return to their homes in safety and dignity as well as providing technical and military assistance to the Nigerian government in the fight against Boko Haram. The study begins with the Boko Haram`s ideology: Salafism and then next chapter focuses on the phases of the evolution of Boko Haram historically. Their activities were initially localized within Nigeria at the beginning of 2000s. However, the sect started to draw big international attention since 2010. Next chapter, after providing all necessary data, indicates that the responses of the Nigerian government and the regional countries to the Boko Haram violence and the humanitarian, technical and military assistance provided by the international community to the Lake Chad Basin countries are not sufficient enough to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency. This dissertation is based on compilation, organization and interpretation of the related data. The dataset mostly comprises of books, articles, reports, online data sources, news outlets and press statements of governments and international organizations. Biggest challenge encountered during the data collection process is that there is no enough published material on Boko Haram and the fight against it. Hence the online sources were meticulously surveyed. In addition to this, as Boko Haram continues to occupy the headlines of the Nigerian press and new developments on this subject unfold on daily basis, it requires to thoroughly follow the news outlets.