The Boko Haram Insurgency in Nigeria - Essay Example

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In the paper “The Boko Haram Insurgency in Nigeria” the author submitted the memorandum as a basis to analyze the political atmosphere in Nigeria, in regards to the Boko Haram insurgency. The purpose is to identify the issue and suggest feasible avenues of action…
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The Boko Haram Insurgency in Nigeria
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The Boko Haram Insurgency in Nigeria
This memorandum is submitted to you as a basis to analyze the political atmosphere in Nigeria, in regards to the Boko Haram insurgency. The purpose is to identify the issue, and suggest feasible avenues of action for consideration.
The radical Islamist group Boko Haram’s increasingly intrepid attacks in Nigeria threaten to stimulate further Muslim to Christian aggression and threaten the stability of West Africa (Smith, 2014). Most notably, the April kidnapping of almost three hundred young female students has warranted an increased scrutiny into the issue (Smith, 2014). The group is a leading concern for U.S policy makers. Boko Haram’s declaration that it has instituted an Islamic caliphate has stirred up international concerns over the insurgents’ brisk ascent in Nigeria (Smith, 2014). Policy makers should refrain from categorizing Boko Haram as simply another enemy in the war against international terrorism. Although the group’s activities are principally local, if allowed to grow in magnitude, the consequences could be dire for the entire international system.
The United States government designated Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order (E.O) 13224 on November 14, 2013 (Smith, 2014). These designations are a crucial step in the comprehensive approach towards countering the impact of Boko Haram. The Boko Haram rebellion is an express consequence of chronic poor governance from the federal and state governments of Nigeria that has resulted in the political marginalization of various regions in Northeast Nigeria (Smith, 2014). The region’s accelerating state of poverty further worsens the situation. The rebel movement has instituted several attacks in the northeastern region of Nigeria, and has gone as far as kidnapping young females (Smith, 2014). The Nigerian government, under the leadership of former President Jonathan Goodluck made limited progress towards handling the political situation (Smith, 2014). The United States remains profoundly concerned about the situation. The United States has policies in place that supports the sharing of information, as well as programs aimed at supplying affirmative alternatives to societies at risk of radicalization and terrorist recruitment (Smith, 2014). The United States has the remarkable capacity in its military to protect its welfare around the globe. As it is, the situation has not warranted military intervention, however, it is essential to prepare for possible deterioration.
Rather than taking the expected course of action, of dealing with the group exclusively through military force, the United States and Nigerian governments should work in a cooperative effort to remedy the isolation of Muslims in Nigeria. Washington should attempt to follow a short-term approach that pressures Abuja to deal with gross human rights neglect and meet the needs of the nationals and refugees displaced by the fighting. Additionally, the United States administration should consider reviving plans to open a consulate in Kano’s northern region. This will be aimed at improving the United State’s outreach to Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim populace. Even though the United States has limited leverage on the new Nigerian government, Washington should pursue a long term policy approach to tackle the roots of disillusionment in the country, in a bid to safeguard national unity, as well as Nigeria’s course towards upholding the rule of law and a democratic system. Since the recommended approach is short term, the potential cost on United States foreign interests will be limited.
Smith, M. (2014). Boko Haram: Inside Nigeria's unholy war. London : I.B. Tauris, Read More
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