Despite a relative lull in attacks since the March 2015 presidential elections, the insurgency by militant group Boko Haram in north-east Nigeria is far from over and needs continue to rise. Violence perpetrated by the group is the primary driver of a reported 1.2 million people fleeing to other parts of the country. Mass abductions of women and girls, such as the Chibok schoolgirls in 2014, has become a trademark tactic. During the second half of 2014 and early 2015, internal displacement at the hands of Boko Haram was also reported within neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger. These three countries now have roughly the same number of IDPs –nearly 200,000– as they do Nigerian refugees.
These trends, along with Boko Haram’s declaration of a caliphate in 2014 and their recent pledge of allegiance to the Islamic State (also known as ISIL) in March 2015, send clear signals that their agenda goes well beyond Nigeria. While military interventions in recent months seem to have reversed some of the territorial gains made by the militant group, internal displacement triggered by Boko Haram is expected to continue across the region.