Study of AI-Shabaab and Boko Haram insurgent strategies in Kenya and Nigeria
Adeyeye, Adebowale ldowu
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This study is underscored by the prevalence of conflicts, violence and acts of terrorism perpetrated by those who disagree with states and/or other groups in Africa. The activities of insurgents in the continent not only result in enormous loss of lives; destruction of properties but continues to threaten the survival of states. In Kenya and Nigeria, Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram insurgents, using terrorist strategies and tactics have continue to engage the two countries in severe violence to the extent that they threaten the survival of the two states and their population. This study examines the strategies and tactics adopted by Boko Haram and AI-Shabaab insurgent groups in the course of their activities. To carry out the study and in relation to the inductive and holistic foundation of the subject matter, a combination of research methods and techniques were employed for data collection. Purposive sampling was used to collect primary and secondary information. Interviews were conducted with relevant government departments, security agencies and people in the troubled regions. The study employs on the Critical theory (Frankfurt School) covering both traditional and scientific approaches and adopted the Comparative method to highlight the similarities and differences in the strategies and tactics of the two groups. The APPA method of referencing was used in the study. Findings reveal that historical and contemporary domestic and external environments of the two countries encourage insurgency and acts of terrorism . The study identifies the similarities and differences between AI-Shabaab and Boko Haram insurgent groups within the context of their goals and objectives, nature, tactics and strategies. Deriving from findings the study argues that the increasing insurgency activities and the adoption of terrorist strategies by insurgents are part of and products of discontent and grievances arising from the activities of states, externally motivated influence, globalisation and self-promoted opportunism. It also concludes that the activities of Boko Haram and AI-Shabaab are often conditioned by local and international environment and responses more than their stated objectives and rhetoric. And, that the strategies and tactics they adopt more often does not correspond with their professed goals and objectives. AI-Shabaab and Boko combine components and features of liberation, insurgents lslamist, revolutionary, religious and rebel movements in their operational strategies and tactics. The study argues that though Kenya and Nigeria, the AU, the RECs and the UN have put in place frameworks and mechanism to tackle insurgency and terrorism in Africa, a lot still needs to be done in dealing with the crises and the underlying causal factors of insurgencies in not only Nigeria and Kenya but in Africa as a whole. This is because these groups' activities are not only constantly changing with more sophistication; they have assumed transnational and international status with connection beyond their operating environments (OEs). Finally, this study recommends governance-based approaches in forms of military and diplomatic strategies (carrot-stick diplomacy), risk assessment, winning the hearts and minds of insurgents, structural restructuring of the polity and security reform among other solutions to insurgencies in Nigeria and Kenya.
- Humanities