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Bolstered ISWAP will stretch Nigerian army resources

Wednesday, June 5, 2019


In recent months, ISWAP has apparently seized large amounts of military weapons and equipment from the Nigerian military, including heavy armour, and strengthened its control of seized areas. With a raging banditry crisis in the north-west dividing its attention, the army is on the back foot against both ISWAP and the Abubakar Shekau-led Boko Haram faction in the Lake Chad Basin.


  • ISWAP’s funding will likely remain locally based over the short term, but concerns will grow over increasing international links.
  • Shekau’s Boko Haram faction is less potent currently but remains a serious threat over the short-to-medium term.
  • Minimal reported clashes between ISWAP and Boko Haram fighters indicate both are mainly occupied with attacking military targets for now.
  • Scrutiny will grow over the alleged role of Ansaru, a small group of al-Qaida-linked former Boko Haram fighters, in north-western violence.

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