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Chad mourns after deadliest Boko Haram attack in the country’s history


Chad mourns after deadliest Boko Haram attack in the country’s history

boko haram chad
Photo: AFP

Today marks the end of Chad’s three-day period of national mourning after a Boko Haram raid on Monday left 98 Chadian soldiers dead. The mourning period instated by President Idriss Deby saw flags flown half-mast and all festive activities cease.

Monday’s attack was the deadliest in Chad’s history. Boko Haram, a Nigeria-based jihadist group seeking to implement a purist form of Islam in the region, has killed over 35,000 in terrorist raids around Lake Chad since coming to prominence in 2009. The group has been allied with the Islamic State’s West Africa Province since 2015.

While international support, including the regional G5 Sahel security framework and US counterterrorism aid, has helped shrink the territory controlled by the terrorist group, Boko Haram has not decreased its raids in the region.

Nigeria also reported an attack on Monday that killed 47 soldiers in northeastern Borno. The increasing attacks around Lake Chad may boost short-term regional security cooperation efforts, but Boko Haram has long managed to retain numbers by appealing to Muslims disenfranchised by regional poverty and low social mobility. As long as these deep-seated problems remain unsolved, expect violence from non-state actors to continue to afflict western Africa.

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While the attacks may increase support for the opposition bloc in Chad’s December parliamentary election, do not expect this to translate into a legitimate challenge for Deby.

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