Africa Center Assistant Director Joshua Meservey and Brent Scowcroft Center Assistant Director Alex Ward write for US News and World Report on the importance of the Nigerian government continuing the fight against Boko Haram after Saturday’s presidential election:
The Nigerian terrorist organization Boko Haram has recently suffered an unprecedented string of defeats. An aggressive multinational force has dislodged it from 17 of the 20 local government areas it once dominated, and the international community is increasing its assistance for the fight. For the first time in six years, Boko Haram is in retreat.
The group’s predicament is a golden opportunity to bring peace to a region that has been wracked by terrorism for years, but there is danger it could be squandered. The government’s belated effort suggests the offensive is at least partially motivated by political reasons ahead of a tight presidential election scheduled for Saturday, and is not the start of a serious long-term effort to restore order to northeastern Nigeria.