Boko Haram is one of the largest Islamic terrorist groups in Africa. The organization has carried out several terrorist attacks on religious and political groups, police and other organizations. According to the Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Conflict Tracker, more than 37,500 people have died since May 2011 and an estimated 2.5 million people have been displaced from the group’s ongoing atrocities. Express.co.uk talks to a humanitarian expert about the origins of Boko Haram and why they are important today.
Who is Boko Haram?
Hassan John, who works on the ground in Nigeria on projects supported by the Humanitarian Assistance Relief Trust, described Boko Haram as an Islamic radical terrorist group.
The expert told Express.co.uk: “The media named it Boko Haram because the meaning of ‘Western education’ is against schools, which use something outside of Islamic teachings using the Quran, Hadith and Sharia laws and lifestyles. Used to teach also.
“It attacks democratic governance and any social lifestyle that characterizes it as a Western civilization” that corrupts Islam.
“It started targeting Christians, churches and Christina businesses in Borno State in areas of central Nigeria such as Jos.”
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What does Boko Haram want?
Boko Haram is officially known as Jamaat Ahl-Sunnah lid-da’wah wah’-Jihad, and Wilayat Garb Ifirikah, which means “West African Province”.
The group promotes a version of Islam, which makes it “haraam” or forbids Muslims to participate in any political or social activity associated with Western society, including voting in elections, wearing shirts or trousers, or Getting secular education is included.
The Boko Haram Nigerian state is being run by non-believers, whether the president is Muslim or not, and has extended his military campaign by targeting neighboring states.
The group has carried out violence and large-scale violence in and around Nigeria since 2009.
Since 2009, more than 30,000 people have been killed and nearly three million displaced, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Boko Haram has a significant impact on global tensions as well as links to other Islamic extremist groups that intensify international security concerns.
The group promised allegiance to the Islamic State in March 2015, prompting the United States to react to increase its military presence and deploy 300 troops to Nigeria to assist in the fight against Boko Haram. .
Mr. John shot Boko Haram in 2009 after a conflict with the Nigerian Army.
Other high-profile incidents included the killing of security officers by the Nigerian military to drag the group’s founder home.
Mohammed Yusuf was arrested and handed over to the police, after which a short video with Yusuf being alive was revealed and then his body was shown the next day.
Mr John said: “Mohammed’s extra-judicial killing prompted his followers to take up arms and launch a 10-year-old insurgency.”
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But it is not only security concerns that unite other countries with African countries affected by the ongoing Boko Haram violence. Oil is another important concern in play.
Nigeria is the largest oil producer on the continent and hence the political climate and stability in Nigeria are important for regional security and US economic interests.
Mr John told Express.co.uk: “Boko Haram has attacked any Western economic interests in the region, including the kidnapping of French and American civilians and the killing of UN workers.
The expert said: “The revolt disintegrated by Boko Haram has deepened divisions in Nigerian politics and threatens its corporate unity.
“If the country goes into civil war, the countries of the West African region will suffer a lot financially and politically. This would also mean that any Western interest in the region would be affected. “
The rampant criminality prevailing in the region could make the northeastern region of Nigeria a “breeding ground for global terrorists”.
To handle the ongoing conflict, the HART spokesperson said that the Nigerian government should be held accountable for the amount of money the country receives to fight Boko Haram.
It is important to use aid money for the fight against a terrorist organization, Mr John said, but there needs to be a “demand” for greater accountability.
He said: “Complaints about lack of funds and lack of equipment by soldiers should be investigated.”
In addition to money, there is a need for more and more education about radical Islamic ideology.
Mr John said: “Radical Islamic ideology, from which young Muslims get their inspiration and marching orders, must be explicitly and openly addressed by Muslim clerics in the country.
“Simply condemning Boko Haram and calling them non-Muslim or following the principles of Islam is not enough to stop recruitment and radicalization.”
The humanitarian expert said that originally the West has the right to help the victim, but the ongoing struggles of others need “more attention”.