Boko Haram may have been forced into the countryside but they have not lost their ability to attack. Because of the growing number of soldiers, police, and local volunteers in the northeast Boko Haram has adapted, and they now attack whoever they can, which means most of their victims are civilians and Moslems. This indicates that Boko Haram now considers most of the civilian population hostile to them. The Islamic terrorists do try to concentrate their attacks against Christians and civilians known to support the volunteer anti-terrorist militias, but generally any civilian will do once the Boko Haram gunmen are out and about. In addition to raids on towns and villages, Boko Haram also likes to set up false military roadblocks (using uniforms stolen from living or dead soldiers and police) and murder any civilians who come along. Sometimes Moslems are spared, but usually everyone dies and their possessions, especially vehicles, are stolen.
So far this year some 900 Christians have been killed in Nigeria by Moslems. Most of these dead are in the northeast, but over a third have died in Central Nigeria, where Moslem nomads have been pushing south for decades and have been raiding the largely Christian natives in order to obtain access to more water and grazing land. Thus, last month 34 Christians were killed in the northeast while over 40 died in Central Nigeria (Plateau state). The government has promised increased security around Christmas because Islamic terrorists like to make large attacks on Christian holidays. One reason there has not been more anti-Moslem attacks in the Christian south is because nearly all Moslem religious leaders have condemned Boko Haram, often accusing them of not being Moslems but just deranged killers. These denunciations are convincing to most Christians, who also note that most Boko Haram victims in the Moslem north are Moslem and that many Moslems up there have joined anti-Boko Haram militias. A growing number of Christians are fleeing the north, especially if they still have family down south.
One of the disadvantages of driving Boko Haram out of the cities is that the Islamic terrorists can now set up camps across the borders in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. These three nations have far less numerous security forces and Boko Haram tends to behave on the other side of the border so as to avoid antagonizing the local tribes and security forces. So it’s up to Nigeria to greatly improve surveillance on its side of the border, and that still leaves a lot of the thinly populated border area unwatched most of the time. There are additional problems with the fact that over 70,000 Nigerian civilians have fled to these two countries to escape the Boko Haram violence. The government is discussing getting some help with this from the United States in the form of American UAVs.
Piracy off the coast continues to be a problem, as some of the pirates now go after locals in addition to the better guarded foreign ships and oil company service boats. Robbing the locals won’t make you rich but it’s easier and safer than the foreign owned ships. The navy has responded with more patrol boats and naval bases on the coast and more patrols and quicker reaction to pirate attacks. But so far there are more pirates entering the business than are being taken out by the navy and police.
December 3, 2013: In the northeast (Maiduguri) the curfew was reduced to 11 hours so people could continue their lives. Cell phone networks were also turned back on after having been shut down since May. This was seen as necessary to make it more difficult for Boko Haram raiding parties to move about undetected. Most people in the area are hostile to Boko Haram (although they agree with the Islamic terrorists’ hostility to corrupt and ineffective government).
December 1, 2013: In the northeast (Maiduguri) Boko Haram attacked the air force facility at the main airport outside the city. Over twenty air force personnel were killed and five helicopters and aircraft destroyed. The attackers lost over twenty men. The air force said that three of the “damaged” aircraft were not in service anyway. Flight operations at the airport were halted for a few hours and a 24 hour curfew was declared in Maiduguri because the attack on the airport was just one of many attacks around the city by up to 300 Boko Haram men.
November 29, 2013: In the northeast (Borno state) Boko Haram attacked a rural village, killed 17 people and burned down dozens of buildings and vehicles. Two of the attackers were killed by a pro-government militia.
November 28, 2013: In the northeast (Borno state) the air force bombed a Boko Haram camp in a forest and killed over a dozen of the Islamic terrorists.
November 26, 2013: Tribal violence continues in central Nigeria (Plateau State) as Moslem gunmen attacked four villages, killing at least 37 people and destroying a lot of property. Most of the victims were Berom, a tribe that has been in the area for centuries. The governor of Plateau state is Beron. Moslem nomadic Fulani tribesmen have been fighting with Christian and pagan farmers outside the city of Jos for years. The violence has gotten worse now and there have been over a thousand casualties so far this year. Boko Haram has recently claimed involvement, but that appears to be marginal. The Fulani have long claimed that the government was sending Christian police to persecute them because of their religion (not because they were constantly attacking Christian farmers). The settled (farming) tribes have been there a long time, and in the last few decades more Fulani have come south looking for pasturage and water for their herds and have increasingly used force to get what they want.