Boko Haram’s attacks are a significant distraction for those trying to stop the virus from spreading.
Boko Haram, one of the world’s deadliest jihadist groups, has long threatened the security of the vast swathes of West and Central Africa. But now the coronavirus pandemic is adding a new dimension of danger.
Boko Haram – whose name means ‘Western education is forbidden’ – reached the height of its power five years ago, soon after it kidnapped 276 of mainly Christian schoolgirls from their school in the town of Chibok, northeastern Nigeria in 2014.
In 2015, the jihadists controlled an area of Nigeria equivalent to the size of Belgium. The fighters sought to turn themselves from insurgents to rulers and impose their ruthless interpretation of Islam over a so-called ‘caliphate’.