Boko Haram has birthed a more successful offspring in the Islamic State in West Africa Province. (Photo/Think Defence/Flickr).

Boko Haram’s ‘Clever Child’ Is Running Rings Around Nigeria And It’s Neighbours

THE Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), a splinter of Boko Haram, is growing in power and influence, the International Crisis Group says in a new report. “By filling gaps in governance and service delivery, it has cultivated a level of support among local civilians that Boko Haram never enjoyed and has turned neglected communities in the area and islands in Lake Chad into a source of economic support.”

It points out that Nigeria and its neighbours not only need to win militarily – which Nigeria is so far largely failing to do – but also politically. ISWAP digs wells, provides some basic healthcare, has a judicial system in place and a tax regime that’s generally accepted – creating an environment where people can do business “and compare its governance favourably to that of the Nigerian state.”

Also worth adding is a religious dimension of support from people committed to ISWAP’s ideological message. All in all, displacing ISWAP will not be easy.

The New Humanitarian (formerly IRIN News)

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