September 12, 2014
Pham on Boko Haram
US News and World Report quotes Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham on how news of the terrorist organization Boko Haram has slipped from public attention as the world focuses on the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham:
Although Boko Haram soared to international notoriety with the kidnapping of roughly 300 girls in northeast Nigeria earlier this year, the Western press has largely ignored its continuing campaign of kidnappings, brutality and now seizure of towns and territory. As J. Peter Pham of the Atlantic Council notes, Boko Haram has evolved and grown stronger, and is now able to seize and hold territory as opposed to launching one-off attacks.
As Pham notes, the solution to Boko Haram cannot be solely military. The nation faces deep social, religious and economic divides that must also be addressed. A lack of political will to address its many internal problems also lies at the heart of Nigeria’s troubles. Richard Downie of the Center for Strategic and International Studies perhaps said it best: “The leadership of some countries, when confronted with a national crisis, put their differences aside and tackle it together. Not Nigeria.”