ABUJA, 18 December 2020 – Nigeria’s efforts to win military victory against the violent Boko Haram insurgency have failed, raising questions if Abuja should work for a political solution instead.

Since its inception in 2009, Boko Haram is blamed for the death of more than 30,000 people in Nigeria.

The majority of the victims have been civilians.

Victims of Boko Haram – Photo Pittsburgh Post Gazette

The insurgency has grown tentacles in neighboring countries – Chad, Cameroon, Mali, and Niger – while stepping up its attacks, kidnappings, and hostage taking for ransom across Nigeria.

Millions of people have been forced from their homes and victories declared frequently by government forces in their fight against the insurgency have turned out to be either short-lived or illusionary.

The option for dialogue and a political solution may now be the only way to resolve the crisis, civil society, rights activists and humanitarian aid workers are hinting.

Continues need to be created to listen to, understand, take into account the concerns of the insurgents and make the compromises needed for the rebels to lay down their weapons, writes Maram Mahdi for the South Africa-based Institute for Security Studies.

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