Originally known for its motto ‘Home of Peace’, the agrarian state has become a grim opposite of its namesake. Terrorists seeking the establishment of Islamic rule and an end to western education have reigned terror on the state with weekly suicide bombings and abductions, plunging it into one of the worst humanitarian disasters of the century.
The terror group, Boko Haram, and its breakaway faction, Islamic State’s West African Province (ISWAP), which has pledged allegiance to ISIS, are responsible for most of the attacks, which left 2.3 million people – mostly women and children – displaced, while at least 35,000 people were killed in Borno and its neighbours. The United Nations says about 350,000 people may have died due to indirect consequences of the crisis.
In 2014, at the height of the insurgency, some 276 schoolgirls in the remote town of Chibok were snatched by Boko Haram,
There's more to this story
Get unlimited access to our exclusive journalism and features today. Our award-winning team of correspondents and editors report from over 54 African countries, from Cape Town to Cairo, from Abidjan to Abuja to Addis Ababa. Africa. Unlocked.
Already a a subscriber Sign In