Information on Boko Haram

A Sample of Useful Sources on Boko Haram

We have learned a lot about Boko Haram and its Nigerian context from these publications, to which we are adding as time goes by. We welcome information and references to add to those listed below.

Recent Sources

February 2018. Scott MacEachern,  a professor of anthropology at Bowdoin College, is author of the newly published “Searching for Boko Haram: A History of Violence in Central Africa” (Oxford University Press, 2018). This book

  • is original in examining Boko Haram from a regional historical perspective, showing how its insurgency continues a long-term trajectory constrained by “ecological and political processes that resonate in the dynamics of this jihadist movement …: (W. van Beek),
  • Investigates the local cultural contexts within which the group originated, paying attention to the ethnic and political aspects of the group in addition to the religious ones,
  • and is written from the perspective of someone who has worked in one of the main refuge areas of Boko Haram over the last 33 years.

We recommend it highly.

November 2016. We have just discovered an interactive map showing the victims of Boko Haram through time. Put together by Vincent Hiribarren, a Lecturer in Modern African History at King’s College London, this is an extremely useful resource that provides a running list of the various incidents and allows the reader to click on the map to obtain information on particular incidents. The data are from Nigeria Watch and Wikipedia.

Sept. 2016. Reports on events in Cameroon are less common than those on Nigeria. Therefore we welcome the  report by Hans De Marie Heungoop of the International Crisis Group on his four week tour of affected areas in the Far North Province. This contains useful links to other sources.

Sept. 2016.  Jacob Zenn’s “Making sense of Boko Haram’s different factions: Who, how and why?” appears in African Arguments.

Earlier sources The Information to Share section of this website maintained by anthropologist Gerhard Müller-Kosack includes up-to-date information with access to original sources, Nigerian and international, on BH attacks and related events in and around the Mandara Mountains since 2012.

Campbell, John 2013. Nigeria: dancing on the brink. (Updated ed.). Council on Foreign Relations. Rowman & Littlefield.  An introduction to Nigeria from the perspective of a historian and diplomat. Chapter 9 focuses on Boko Haram up to 2012.   Marc-Antoine Pérouse de Montclos’ 2014 paper on Boko Haram is a must-read on the topic and provides much valuable contextual information. . This contains Jacob Zenn’s 2014 article on “Nigerian al-Qaedaism”, which nicely complements Pérouse de Montclos’ paper though not always without disagreements.

“Boko Haram crisis: Why it is hard to know the truth in Nigeria”.  An example of the reporting of Will Ross, a BBC News reporter resident in Nigeria. Work worth following.

Ngassam, Rodrigue Nana “Boko Haram invades Cameroon”. Le Monde diplomatique (English edition), no 1501, January 2015, pp. 4-5. A  useful if under-sourced report on Boko Haram’s increasing assault against the Far North region of Cameroon.  A long and thoughtful article by Geoffrey York in The Globe and Mail, 27 February 2015. . A careful, and so not very up-to-date, compilation of data on violent deaths in Nigeria.

An internet search for “Boko Haram on YouTube” can help those not familiar with this part of the world to visualize its landscapes and peoples. It also provides ample evidence of the horrors and atrocities committed by both sides in the conflict.

Issa, Saïbou (ed.). 2014. Effets économiques et sociaux des attaques de Boko Haram dans l’Extrême-Nord du Cameroun.  Maroua : Kaliao, vol. spécial, nov. 2014. ISSN : 2073-9052. The seven contributions to this volume reveal the disastrous economic and socioeconomic effects of the insurgency on Cameroon’s Far North region even before Boko Haram intensified its attacks on border towns.

Seignobos, C. 2014. Boko Haram: innovations guerrières depuis le Monts Mandara. Afrique contemporaine 252: 149-69.  Boko Haram and its tactics at the moment of its maximum success.

Other texts

Koungou, Léon 2014. Le Cameroun à l’épreuve des menaces. Paris: L’Harmattan. ISBN 978-2-343-04142-2. Available as an ebook.

Pérouse de Montclos, M.-A. (ed.) 2014.  Boko Haram: Islamism, politics, security and the state in Nigeria. African Studies Ctr, Leiden and French Inst. for Research in Africa (IFRA). ISSN: 2213-5480. ISBN: 978-90-5448-135-5. Downloadable as .pdf

BHVR welcomes your suggestions regarding additional sources (preferably in English, French or German, but we will attempt other languages), not neglecting material from or relating to Niger, Cameroon and Chad.