Boko Haram, bandits and slave-raiders: identities and violence in a Central African borderland

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Boko Haram is a religiously motivated insurgency with a complex history in Nigeria and origins in urban Maiduguri. Through most of its existence Boko Haram has shown an affinity for border regions: the frontier zones between Nigeria and Niger, the Mandara Mountains on the border with Cameroon, and the shorelines and islands of Lake Chad. This paper argues that this is an historically mediated process. Boko Haram as a borderland phenomenon echoes the hijra of Usman dan Fodio, but also structured forms of violence and wealth creation that have historically united elites and their followers in the region. Moreover, there are continuities between the actions and actors associated with earlier phases of border violence and processes involving Boko Haram today. This suggests that Boko Haram will not be “defeated,” but rather that the region will see a reversion to forms of border violence that were prevalent as recently as the early 2000s.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • MacEachern, S

Published Date

  • May 3, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 54 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 247 - 263

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1923-3051

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0008-3968

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/00083968.2019.1700142

Citation Source

  • Scopus