Catholic Online quotes Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham on Boko Haram surrounding Maiduguri, Nigeria and whether the militants could take over the city of two million people:

“The city is certainly symbolic,” said Dr. J. Peter Pham of The Atlantic Council. “In the narrative of Boko Haram that is where the martyrdom of hundreds of its fighters took place.”


According to former ambassador Campbell and Pham, the militants do not currently have the manpower to seize absolute control over a city Maiduguri’s size. However, if they continue the raids, the military could be weakened and leave the city more vulnerable.


“Even if they are unsuccessful, they underscore the weakness of the Nigerian government,” Pham continued. “Storming through the town, even if they did not take it, would be a victory for Boko Haram. It would be a bloodbath, but it may be something they attempt.”

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