Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has switched tack from saying his government is winning the war against the Islamist group Boko Haram to describing it as an expanding al-Qaeda-backed threat to Africa.
Nigeria’s military knows where more than 200 schoolgirls abducted last month by Islamist militants are being held and is studying how to rescue them, Chief of Defense Staff Air Marshal Alex Badeh said.
The Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram will probably maintain its insurgency in Africa’s biggest oil producer even if army claims of its leader’s death are true, said analysts including Shehu Sani, president of the Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria.
Armed with machetes and clubs, vigilantes in Nigeria’s northeastern city of Maiduguri are setting up roadblocks and conducting house-to-house searches to aid the army’s fight against Islamist militants.
Labaran Manu shut his grocery shop and fled the northeastern Nigerian town of Mallam Fatori with his two wives and five children after President Goodluck Jonathan sent troops last month to drive Islamist militants from the area.
Facing a crackdown by Nigeria’s army in cities, Islamist militants are targeting villages in the northeast, killing about 160 people this year in Borno state and signaling there’s no respite in their five-year-old insurgency.