With over 6,644 lives claimed in 2014 by Boko Haram, the West Africa terrorist group has become even more ‘successful’ than ISIS, who only had 6,073. UN relief funds have been essential for the resettling and provision of basic needs to the survivors of the terror attacks.
Nigeria has been on the news lately for all the wrong reasons: either their shaky economy or terrorism by Boko Haram. This terrorist group has ravaged most of the Western Africa nations, leading to large numbers of internally displaced people (IDPs) all over the region. Several international bodies have been sending relief to the affected regions, and one of the most hands-on being the United Nations (UN).
Timeline of Boko Haram’s attacks in 2015
Between the 3rd and 7th of January, 2015, Boko Haram overran the Baga region, invading a military base and raiding the neighbouring regions. According to several international news stations, over 2,000 people had been killed during a mass killing within the region. However, government reports insist no more than 150 people had been killed. Nevertheless, more than 35,000 people were displaced from the region as Boko Haram were expanding their territory.
Several subsequent raids within the region spurred the Nigerian, Chad, Cameroon and Niger armies to collaborate and push back Boko Haram. Their attempts were successful and they ended up freeing close to 300 women and children who had been abducted. The resultant IDPs were assisted by the UN, who provided $27.2 million in March to help the survivors.
After this military attack, Boko Haram resorted to sporadic attacks, mainly with the use of suicide bombers, but also raids within villages. The attacks were so persistent and unexpected that more than 350,000 people fled the affected regions by the end of 2015. This spurred the UN to offer some $13.5 million to help resettle these refugees.
In the early days of 2016, January, the group kept raiding villages and torching people’s houses, further increasing the number of refugees. The UN relief funds released were $20 million for their resettlement early this year.
The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) is the unit responsible for the issuing of these relief funds as it is quick to arrive to the problem areas and help the affected IDPs. The total amount issued in 2015 by UN relief funds through CERF is about $52 million, and all of it went to the survivors of the Boko Haram terrors.
What are West Africa nations doing to help?
At the moment, there have been attempts by the armies of affected countries to push back Boko Haram and perhaps eliminate the threat entirely. So far, this has reduced the number of kidnappings and mass murders occurring in the region. By limiting the group’s reach, the hope is to cut off support for Boko Haram and limit their access to funds and weapons.
If the recent decline in their terrorism activities is anything to go by, then we can speculate that Boko Haram may actually be suffocating.