Scripps Howard Foundation Wire cites congressional testimony from Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham on the ongoing struggle against Boko Haram:
“The refugees have already become a problem. Since the middle of last year, Boko Haram has seized effective control of 10 local government areas within the state of Borno itself. These people have now fled and aren’t going to go back as long as Boko Haram is there,” Peter Pham, director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council, said after testifying before a congressional committee Wednesday.
The increasing number of refugees and internally displaced persons, or those who have been forced to flee their homes but remain in Nigeria, is the result of more sophisticated tactics being used by Boko Haram, Pham told the committee.
In prepared remarks for the hearing, Pham said, “Boko Haram has developed a very diversified and resilient model of supporting itself, and that, as it increasingly takes on more and more of the character of an insurgency, it can essentially ‘live off the land.’”
Many farmers refuse to plant crops out of fear they won’t be around for harvest because of Boko Haram attacks. This could result in a major food shortage, Pham said.