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Nigeria’s Boko Haram: Frequently Asked Questions

CRS – Nigeria’s Boko Haram: Frequently Asked Questions, Lauren Ploch Blanchard, Specialist in African Affairs. May 20, 2014

“The United States has offered support to the government of Nigeria to investigate and facilitate the release of almost 300 female students who were abducted from their school in northern Nigeria in April by Boko Haram, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. The case has attracted extensive international attention, driven in part by public rallies and a social media campaign known on Twitter by the slogan #BringBackOurGirls. Many Members of Congress have expressed outrage at the kidnappings, calling on the Nigerian government to more urgently and effectively respond and urging the Obama Administration to facilitate the girls’ safe return. More broadly, the abduction has raised questions about what steps the Nigerian government, the United States, and others have taken to counter the rising threat posed by Boko Haram, and what impact Nigeria’s years-long counterinsurgency campaign has had on the group. The kidnapping is among the latest in a series of atrocities and terrorist attacks perpetrated by
Boko Haram in an escalating campaign aimed, in part, at undermining the Nigerian government’s control over the northern part of the country. Nigeria’s heavy-handed response to Boko Haram’s insurgent and terrorist operations has complicated U.S. efforts to pursue greater counterterrorism cooperation with the Nigerian government, in spite of shared concerns about Boko Haram and its ties to regional and international terrorist groups and operatives…”

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