Institutional Counterinsurgency Frameworks in Africa’s Lake Chad Basin and the Operations of the Multinational Joint Task Force Against Boko Haram
Committee MemberHuebert, Robert Neil
Apentiik, Rowland Anyebadek
Political Science--International Law and Relations
SubjectInsurgency and Counterinsurgency
Lake Chad Basin
Lake Chad Basin Commission
Multinational Joint Task Force
African Union (AU)
Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)
Terrorism and Counterterrorism
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AbstractThe Islamist group, Jama’atul Alhul Sunnah Lidda’wati wal Jihad, translated as “people committed to the propagation of the Prophet’s teachings and jihad” is commonly known as Boko Haram which means “Western education is forbidden.” Boko Haram originated in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Borno in 2002, but its violent activities extend into neighboring Cameroon, Chad, and Niger in the Lake Chad Basin. Such transnational dimension of the group’s violence and its increasing sophistication necessitated the establishment of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) as a sub-regional coalition to combat it. The Task Force comprises troops from the affected member states in the Lake Chad Basin and Benin Republic with the African Union (AU) as its strategic partner. The MNJTF’s member states are split between the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). Nigeria, Niger, and Benin Republic are members of the former while Chad and Cameroon belong to the latter. Irrespective of the existence of a sub-regional counterinsurgency force, Boko Haram remains very resilient and continues to launch lethal attacks across the Lake Chad Basin. Yet, the institutional conditions that account for the ineffectiveness of the MNJTF’s operations have not been studied. The thesis explored the influence of the counterinsurgency frameworks of AU, ECOWAS, and ECCAS on the operations of the MNJTF against Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin. The thesis utilized the Regional Security Complex Theory by Barry Buzan and Ole Wæver as the framework of analysis and Policy Analysis as the methodological approach. The study found that the institutional counterinsurgency frameworks of the AU, ECOWAS and ECCAS have undermined military cooperation and intelligence sharing among the MNJTF’s member states due to their emphasis on single-state counterinsurgency efforts, their respect for and protection of states’ territorial sovereignty, and distortions in their counterinsurgency approaches. The study, therefore, recommended that the Lake Chad Basin Commission formulates its own counterinsurgency strategy. Also, the MNJTF should establish common values and principles for its member states, adopt a top-to-bottom joint command and coordination mechanism, and establish its own technical units to aid its operations.
CitationAdela, G. (2021). Institutional Counterinsurgency Frameworks in Africa’s Lake Chad Basin and the Operations of the Multinational Joint Task Force Against Boko Haram (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
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