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Report: Is President Buhari correct that Boko Haram are ‘not holding any territory’ in Nigeria?

…in the country. Buhari was speaking during a meeting last month with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. His comments came just weeks after he claimed that Nigeria had “technically won the war” against Boko Haram, which in July 2014 had moved on from staging ad-hoc guerrilla-style attacks on security forces to seeking, and gaining, control of large swathes of Nigerian territory. For Buhari, a victory over Boko Haram is key…

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Factsheet: FACTSHEET: Explaining Nigeria’s Boko Haram and its violent insurgency

…world learned of the Boko Haram terrorist group after they kidnapped 276 school girls from their dormitory in the town of Chibok in 2014, but for years its steadily worsening attacks have been wracking parts of the country. Boko Haram must be understood in the context of Nigeria’s current conditions: it is Africa’s most populous nation, largest economy and biggest oil producer, but astounding levels of corruption have left it without basic…

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Blog post: COMMENT: How not to fight Boko Haram

…ens against massacres like the one in Baga in Borno state on 7 January. Figures are still sketchy as to the exact number of people who died in what has been described as the “deadliest attack ever” perpetrated by Boko Haram, on Baga and surrounding villages close to the border between Nigeria and Chad. Indications are it might not be 2,000, as initially reported, but Amnesty International insists that “several hundred”…

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Blog post: Politician’s claims about Boko Haram and Ebola voted Pagella Politica’s ‘Whopper of the Year’

…made a rather bizarre statement: “Nigeria, you can read about it on Wikipedia: 60% of its territory is controlled by Boko Haram, the remaining part is Ebola. Considering that Nigeria occupies over 920,000 square kilometers, Boko Haram would control a territory twice the size of Italy – if Di Battista’s numbers checked out. But they do not. Who are Boko Haram? A screen grab taken on July 13, 2014 from a video produced by Boko Haram showing…

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Blog post: COMMENT: Assessing the Baga massacre death toll

…ernational’s Nigeria analyst, Daniel Eyre, suggested that hundreds, if not thousands, had been killed in the attack on Baga. In a press statement, Eyre wrote: “The attack on Baga and surrounding towns looks as if it could be Boko Haram’s deadliest act in a catalogue of increasingly heinous attacks carried out by the group.” If the numbers are confirmed, Eyre’s comment that the Baga attack may be Boko Haram’s deadliest act of mass violence is…

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Factsheet: FACTSHEET: What happened in Baga?

…s downplaying death tolls. Images of a massacre A screenshot taken on 12 January shows one of the purported Baga massacre images. In fact, the image dates from March 2010. On social media networks, spurred on by the hashtag #BokoHaramKilled2000People, the claimed 2,000 death toll quickly became fact. Many of the tweets were accompanied by horrific images of butchered, burnt and mutilated corpses that purported to show the massacre in Baga. None…

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Report: Story of ‘gutsy bravehearts’ who fought off Boko Haram is a hoax

…e been taped over, possibly to keep dust out of the barrel. On Twitter, Facebook and the Web, the women have been hailed as heroes in the fight against Boko Haram militants in northern Nigeria. “Nigerian women who repulsed a Boko Haram attack, kudos to these gutsy bravehearts,” read a typical tweet of the image this week. The photograph has been circulating for some time. We found posts dating to 2013, but the image appears to have gone viral in…

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Report: 2014 in review: Ebola, Boko Haram, elections and dodgy data

…tments and “nano-silver” to herbal remedies. We also investigated claims by Ghanaian government officials that “all entry points” into the country had been equipped with facilities to screen for Ebola. The claims were false. Boko Haram A screengrab taken on August 24, 2014 from a video released by the Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram. Photo: AFP/Boko Haram Nigeria’s brutal Boko Haram insurgency gained worldwide headlines with the…

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Report: 90,000 officers killed in insurgency? Claim by Nigeria’s head of police wrong

…ne for a society.” So is the inspector-general right? Could the Nigerian police really have lost so many men in such a short time? (Even setting aside the fact that the inspector-general is wrong about the time-frame – Boko Haram began its violent insurgency in 2009, and not 2011 as Arase said.) How did he arrive at the figure? Nigeria’s inspector-general of police, Solomon Arase. From what Arase said, the inspector-general of police…

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Factsheet: FACTSHEET: How many schoolgirls did Boko Haram abduct and how many are still missing?

…0 were external students (i.e. from other schools and not staying in Chibok), 70 are boys while 30 are girls staying off school dormitory. That leaves 360 students staying in the hostels,” Enoch said. “As parents we know the Boko Haram is holding over 300 girls after the escape of 30 of the girls,” he said. So how many girls were at the school on night of April 14? Officials are still unclear, but Mark’s figure that around 360 were present at…

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