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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Are Nigerian Bandits a New Boko Haram Cell or a Competitive ‘Terrorist’?

Anka, Nigeria – On December 11, 2020, more than 300 boys were abducted by gunmen on a motorcycle in Kankara, a small town in northwestern Nigeria’s Katista State.

The incident coincided with Boko Haram’s Modus Operandi, and the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, claimed responsibility for the attack by voicemail before releasing a video of the abducted children.

This has further strengthened the belief among Nigerian politicians and scholars that the group, which has been waging a war in the Northeast for more than a decade, is the mastermind behind the atrocities.

Within a month, the victims were released.

However, in March 2021, King Awalun Dadawawa, one of the most notorious bandits in the North West, took over for Kankara. “I did this in Catherine because he was the governor. [Aminu Masari] “We will not talk to our people again,” he told the Daily Trust.

According to local media reports, the kidnapping was carried out by seven different thugs who sent a video of the abduction. They knew the government was “more afraid of Boko Haram” than they were and was willing to meet its demands quickly.

The plan worked. According to the students, the government has repeatedly denied this, but an undisclosed amount of money has been paid in ransom.

Defamation and defamation

A.D. Since 2010, gangs have been wreaking havoc across much of northwestern Nigeria, but over the past few years the crisis has become nationally recognized in Africa.

Data from the Armed Conflict Area and Event Information Project (ACLED) show that the bandits By 2021, more than 2,600 civilians were responsible for the deaths – the same year as Boko Haram and the Islamic State of West Africa (ISWAP). – And by 2020 it will almost triple.

But many details have been disputed about the bandits, their ability to intimidate the government and whether they were petty criminals or more sophisticated robbers. A.D. In January 2022 the government banned them as “terrorists.”

On March 28, an unknown number of heavily armed militants attacked a train traveling between the Nigerian capital, Abuja, and neighboring Kaduna State. Before firing on the carriages, they detonated explosives, killing at least eight people and abducting an unknown number of passengers.

This was just a few days after the attack on the International Airport and another attack on a military facility – all in Kaduna.

The train crash is one of the deadliest in northern Nigeria and has sparked controversy. But even on social media and in the corridors of power, this phenomenon is being widely reported, again, to Boko Haram.

Since the Kankara school abduction, Nigerian government officials and public commentators have blamed the “bandits” for the bandits.

But experts say the ongoing crackdown on Northwestern militants is a reflection of the long-standing perception and complexity of the region’s conflict.

Two bandits – one on a military camera – sit in the shade of a tree at the entrance of a controlled community in Zurmi, Zamfara, Nigeria. [Credit: Yusuf Anka/Al Jazeera]

More deadly than Boko Haram?

A closer look at the activities of these groups suggests that Boko Haram and its affiliates pose a unique and perhaps complex threat, including ISWAP.

The key to their popularity and proliferation is their easy access to sophisticated military equipment, mostly through West Africa and across the Sahel.

But the large number of civilian casualties is also due to differences between armed bandits and jihadists.

ISWAP, for example, is one of the most influential armed groups in Nigeria today, focusing on attacks on government forces and institutions. James Barnett, a researcher at the Institute for African and Diaspora Studies at the University of Lagos, said the commanders paid taxes and administered taxes instead of terrorizing rural communities.

But the bandits are made up of dozens of unrelated groups, often competing for territory or being plundered and have no single command chain or single purpose, making it difficult to conclude disarmament deals.

“No leader or group leader can negotiate with a government that has real control over the thousands of armed bandits operating in northern Nigeria,” Barnett said.

Unlike armed groups operating in northeastern Nigeria, the North West bandits are largely driven by economic opportunities and have no clear political vision, said Fola Aina, a staff member at the Royal United Service Institute for Defense and Security. Studies (RUSI), London.

But the possibility of a recent one – or a combination between the two groups – cannot be ruled out.

Most bandits are of Fulani descent and have long complained of being marginalized in the predominantly Hausa state.

As a result, he said, “Supported by jihadists operating in the region, politically motivated and eager to increase the number of their infantry, they are the main targets to deceive and fight when many die at their hands. Nigerian security forces, ”said Aina.

Overlapping conflict

Now the government can recognize the signs.

In the aftermath of the Abuja-Kaduna train, Nigerian government sources have blamed Boko Haram for the attacks and said armed bandits lacked coordination and strength to plan such attacks.

But in a recent interview, Nasser El-Rafafi, one of the worst-hit states in the crisis, described the attack as a sign of cooperation between armed bandits and Boko Haram.

This view was reinforced on April 13 by the Minister of Information, Mohammed.

Seven nights before the attack on the airport and the train, a middle-class bandit in the Aja Zamfara Forest received a call from a police officer in another forest near Kaduna.

The former told Al Jazeera that he had been offered a job in Kaduna but was turned down because he had “a new bride” and wanted to spend time with her and enjoy Ramadan at home.

He indirectly claimed that the attack in Kaduna was orchestrated by a few armed gangs from the capital, Kampala, by some armed bandits.

However, he told Al Jazeera that “a few weeks ago, the army raided the stronghold of the Ansar Dine militia, killing eight people, seizing about 30 motorcycles and 11 rifles.”

The gang also said its allies, members of the Ansar Dine, “were willing to take credit to create Boko Haram sentiment and make the government more fearful, but the Fulani there are only interested in the money.”

In addition to the military retaliation and airstrikes, the bandits are also taking revenge on Houston militants who have killed their wives and children. This has led to attacks on the host communities.

Al Jazeera also acknowledged that there had been a number of attempts by Ansar al-Thani to convert the bandits – but ideological differences angered those actions.

from 2019 to 2020Members of the Ansuru have conducted a series of preaching activities in Zamfara, in cities such as Munhaye and Dandalah. In this sermon, he instructed the robbers to abstain from stealing, smoking, drinking, prostitution, and fasting and prayer.

The bandits ignored this and planted five armed bandits, killing one senior bandit leader.

This severed the connection between the many armed bandits and the Ansar, and ultimatum, both the former and the latter. This jeopardizes any future cooperation, except for commercial purposes.

A January study published in the Journal of Terrorism by the United States Military Academy concluded that interviews with armed robbers and “jihadists” had concluded that “Nigerian armed robbers are so powerful that they do not need to cooperate with jihadists.” It is even necessary to turn to jihadism.

For the Nigerian government at all levels, understanding the cohesiveness of the game can be useful for any anti-insurgency campaign.

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World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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