Tinubu Promises To Collaborate With FG To Fight Terrorism

 

A Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has offered to support the Federal Government to end terrorism and other evils in the country.

Tinubu made the pledge on Sunday when he visited Katsina State to condole with the State Government and people of the state over the gruesome murder of the State Commissioner of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Rabe Nasir as well as the recent insecurity upsurge in the state.

A file photo of APC National Leader, Mr Bola Tinubu.
A Chieftain of the APC, Bola Tinubu (File Photo)

 

Speaking further, he urged residents to share relevant information to security agencies on suspicious movements of characters urging residents to continue preaching for peace, change their attitudes and support leaders with determination to bring terrorism to its knees.

READ ALSO: Tinubu Donates N50m To Victims Of Gusau Attack

Last Thursday, the former Governor, also paid a visit to Zamfara State to condole with families of victims of the recent killings in two Local Government Areas of the state.

He also donated the sum of N50million to the families.

At least, 58 people were reported killed last week when bandits raided some villages in Bukkuyum and Anka Local Government Areas of the state.

See the video below.

Oyo Monarch, 10 Others Charged With Terrorism

A file photo of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

 

The planned arraignment of a traditional ruler in Oyo State, Oba Solomon Akinola, on terrorism charges at the Federal High Court in Abuja was stalled on Thursday due to vehement objection to the jurisdiction of the court to conduct the trial.

Though Oba Akinola was not physically present in court to take his plea, three of his high chiefs, Sunday Aderinto 87 years, Samson Ogunmola, and Timothy Adewale Aderinto were brought to court under heavy police security.

However, shortly after the three chiefs were called to the dock, their counsel, Mr Jimoh Abdulsalam, raised objection to the taking of their plea to the offences alleged to have been committed between May 10 and 21 last year.

READ ALSO: Buhari Inaugurates Five Projects In Ogun, Promises More Infrastructure

The counsel predicted his objection on the validity of the charges insisting that the three chiefs, aged between 87 and 71 years, are victims of a land dispute between Oko and Aagba communities near Ogbomoso in Surulere Local Government Area of Oyo state.

He told the court that it is only the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) that can handle terrorism charges and expressed displeasure that police coloured a communal land dispute as a terrorism act, adding that the chiefs cannot take pleas on terrorism charges.

The lawyer also challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit,  noting that the chiefs who have spent 37 days in police detention were not properly before the court.

The problem was compounded by the inability of the prosecution to counter the oral objection of the defendants with any authority of the law.

Following the vehement objection to the arraignment on jurisdiction, Justice Obiora Egwuatu directed the defense counsel to put his objection in writing and serve the same on the prosecution.

Other chiefs billed for arraignment but said to be at large are Jimoh Asimiyu, Segun Gbadebo, Oluwole Ogundeji, Akintaro Mathew Piamo, Rafiu Ganiyu, Adejare Adeleru, and Zacheus Adeleru.

Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, filed the terrorism charges against them through an officer in the legal department of the Force Headquarters, Mr Orji Kalu.

The criminal charges among others indicated that the defendants while armed with dangerous weapons comprising cutlasses and knives allegedly conspired and invaded Aagba Community in Oyo State and kidnapped three people in addition to inflicting various degrees of injuries on their victims.

Those said to have been kidnapped are Atanda Akinwale, Olayiwola Gbadebo, and Olusola Agbebi contrary to section 1 (2) of the Terrorism Prevention Act 2013.

Also, they were accused of inflicting injuries on  Muritala Alimi, Omilabu Oluwasegun, and Mrs Rachel Bamidele.

The charges also indicated that 4 tyres of Honda Pilot Jeep belonging to Baale of Aagba, Chief Adesola Ajiboye, a motorcycle worth N300, 000, a borehole, windscreen, pipes, and a bulldozer a farm were destroyed.

The defendants were further accused of stealing 15 bags of cement worth N450,000.

Meanwhile, Justice Egwuatu has fixed the matter for February 14 to take the objection of the defendants to the charges.

Name And Prosecute Terrorism Financiers, Ndume Tells FG

 

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume has asked the Federal Government to name and arrest those that finance terrorism in the country.

Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Political Paradigm, Ndume said he was prosecuted by the Federal Government for sponsoring Boko Haram.

His offence, he noted, was because the Department of State Services (DSS) tracked a phone and uncovered a call made by the spokesman of the insurgents.

READ ALSO: Visitors To Aso Villa Will Be Tested For COVID-19 – Presidency

While noting that he was arrested, the lawmaker criticised security agencies for not doing a proper investigation before subjecting him to public ridicule.

“If there is evidence that somebody is funding Boko Haram, there is clear evidence after doing your investigation, why don’t you tell Nigerians? Why don’t you prosecute them?” he questioned.

“Just because they were tracking my phone and they said a spokesman of Boko Haram called me, they went and arrested me. They didn’t even ask me, they didn’t do any intelligence work. The Senate President called me and said the SSS wants you to report that they have some questions.”

According to the lawmaker, he reported at the DSS office thinking he would be afforded the opportunity of availing them the useful information that will help in the terrorism war.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Ali Ndume.

 

He recalled that the then DSS spokesperson, Marilyn Ogar, briefed journalists where he was accused of sponsoring terrorism.

The senator also called on the government to rebuild the north-east that has been ravaged by the insurgency for over a decade.

As part of the rebuilding efforts, Ndume asked the authorities to resettle the victims of terrorism, reconstruct the areas they destroyed, process and profile insurgents that voluntarily surrender to the military authorities.

Away from the insurgency, he also reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

He said the President’s decision came as a shock to the National Assembly despite the efforts put in by the lawmakers in drafting the bill.

11 Troops Injured As Army Kills 29 Terrorists In Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso’s armed forces, pictured during training, have carried out security sweeps in an attempt to stem jihadist violence. Photo: Issouf Sanogo/AFP

 

Eleven soldiers were wounded and 29 “terrorists” neutralised in a weekend attack on security forces in Burkina Faso’s troubled northwest, the army said on Sunday. 

Military and police units came under attack on Saturday in the area of Gomboro “by armed individuals”, the army said.

“The fighting caused injuries to 11 soldiers who were treated. Their response and counter-offensive allowed the neutralisation of 29 terrorists and the recovery of a large amount of combat materiel including weapons, vehicles and communication equipment,” the statement said.

On December 23, an ambush by suspected jihadists targeting civilians and the VDP, an official self-defence force, in the northern You region left 41 people dead, including Ladji Yoro, considered a leader of the VDP.

READ ALSO: Five Dead, 21 Injured In Bus Accident South Of Moscow

That attack was the deadliest since the bloodshed in Inata in the country’s north in mid-November, which claimed 57 lives including 53 police officers.

Since 2015, Burkina Faso has been facing regular and deadly jihadist attacks, particularly in the northern and eastern regions, close to Mali and Niger, countries also battling armed jihadist groups.

These attacks, often coupled with ambushes and attributed to jihadist movements affiliated with the Islamic State group and al-Qaeda, have killed more than 2,000 people and forced more than 1.4 million to flee their homes.

AFP

Buhari Calls For Concrete Support To Defeat Terrorism In Africa

President Muhammadu Buhari with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, Turkey on December 17, 2021.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday called on the Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit to provide concrete support to help defeat terrorism and insurgency on the African continent.

He informed the gathering at the third edition of the summit in Istanbul that the Boko Haram terrorist group, though fragmented by internal strife and degraded by Nigeria’s defence forces, has continued to prey on soft targets.

The President stated that the summit convened by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has given due consideration to the issue of terrorism, while also focusing on development and infrastructure in Africa.

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“Another area this partnership must focus on is the global challenge of climate change which is impacting us in Nigeria, Turkey, across Africa, and indeed across the world,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu. “It has become a catalyst for conflict through food insecurity, drying up of lakes, loss of livelihood, and youth migration, among others.

“The trend is the same around the world where communities are overwhelmed by forest fires, rising sea levels, flood, drought, and desertification. I want to seize this opportunity to appeal for support for initiatives such as Africa’s Great Green Wall on Environment and Land Management, which is designed to fight the effects of climate change and desertification in Africa.

“The initiative aims to restore 100 million hectares of degraded land in the 11 countries of the Sahel-Sahara strip, capture 250 million tons of carbon and, create 10 million green jobs by 2030.”

On the global coronavirus pandemic, President Buhari urged nations to follow the example of Africa-Turkey cooperation, which emphasises solidarity and support in tackling the challenge.

In his words, “The pandemic is a global challenge which calls for global solidarity and solutions and the Africa-Turkey cooperation model has proved to be an example to the world. Not only has there been mutual support to respond to the pandemic but also mutual support to build resilience and sustainable development in other sectors.

“We also commend the African Union for the excellent role it has been playing in coordinating the implementation process of the Partnership.”

The President noted that in view of the increasingly unpredictable nature of contemporary global challenges facing mankind, world leaders must continue to put the well-being of humanity at the centre of the agenda for the common good and prosperity of all.

“We must therefore promote science, technology, and innovation and share knowledge from research and development to better equip us to address present and future challenges in a more equitable and sustainable manner.

“In this regard, Nigeria strongly endorses the Summit Declaration as well as the 2022-2026 Joint Action Plan,” he said.

President Buhari affirmed that international trade has remained an engine for development and sustained economic growth, as well as the global eradication of poverty.

He commended the significant increase in trade figures between Africa and Turkey and urged the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCTA) to assist in further increasing it to a level of a win-win for all countries.

“We are confident that given the level of openness, trust and commitment manifested in the Africa–Turkey Partnership, this cooperation mechanism will be a game-changer for our countries and set us on the path of sustainable development for our peoples,” said the President who applauded President Erdogan for initiating the Turkey-Africa Partnership since 2008.

Court Adjourns Human Rights Suit Filed By Nnamdi Kanu Till Nov 19

IPOB Will Never Be Violent, Says Nnamdi Kanu
A file photo of Nnamdi Kanu.

 

A Federal High Court in Abia State has adjourned a suit filed on behalf of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, against the Federal Government.

The court had assigned the suit for hearing today (November 2) but it has now been adjourned for reasons that are yet to be clear.

According to Kanu’s lawyer, Aloy Ejimakor, the suit was seeking his client’s unconditional release from ‘illegal detention’.

“I am saddened by this untoward development over a suit that seeks the unconditional release of Kanu from his illegal detention,” Ejimakor said.

Meanwhile, the previous judge presiding over the matter had hinted that he would not continue and therefore, called on the Chief Judge to reassign the matter to another judge.

Kanu was first arrested in 2015 on charges bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter, illegal possession of firearms, and improper importation of goods, among others.

He was initially detained and arraigned in court, but he fled the country in 2017 after he was granted bail for medical reasons.

The embattled IPOB leader was later sighted in Israel, but he was intercepted on June 27 and repatriated to Nigeria to face the charges for which he was arrested – about four years since he jumped bail.

Read Also: FG Files Amended Terrorism Charge Against Nnamdi Kanu

His repatriation followed an operation conducted by Nigerian security operatives in collaboration with international partners.

On July 26, Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja adjourned his trial until October 21 after the DSS failed to produce him in court.

She faulted the action of the security outfit and asked the prosecution to be diligent with dates whenever she gives one, stressing that it was important for Kanu to be present at his trial.

On October 21, he was eventually brought to court by officials of the DSS amid heavy security.

Prior to that date, the Federal Government had filed seven amended charges bordering on treasonable felony and acts of terrorism against him.

The IPOB leader was accused of using Radio Biafra to instigate violence that led to the death of at least 175 security personnel and several other citizens.

Terrorism Financing: Nigeria To Join Financial Action Task Force

A file photo of the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

 

Federal Government has indicated willingness to become a member of the global Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog.

Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, disclosed this at the Extraordinary Ministerial Committee Meeting of the Intergovernmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA).

This is in line with the resolve of the government to address the challenges of money laundering and terrorism financing, a statement by the spokesman for the office of the AGF, Umar Gwandu, said on Saturday.

“The FATF monitors 39 member countries to ensure full and effective implementation of FATF Standards, thereby holding nations that do not comply accountable,” it said.

According to Malami, Nigeria’s Financial Intelligent Unit has issued an executive alert to all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) for the implementation of the action plan on Nigeria’s follow-up process.

He thanked FATF, GIABA, and member states for reviewing and adopting the just-concluded second Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) of Nigeria.

The minister stated that to achieve the purpose of the subsequent high rating of the technical compliance and effective for the country on follow-up review, MDAs have been directed to constitute an internal technical committee to review the report and work out modalities for implementation.

He assured the member states that Nigeria has a high-level commitment to addressing money laundering and terrorism financing in order to ensure a stable and peaceful nation for the people.

Malami added that where the implementation process and follow-up evaluation on the MER was concluded, Nigeria further requested the support of GIABA to commence the application for membership into FATF.

Terrorism Should Not Be Branded As Banditry, Says Akeredolu

A file photo of Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu.

 

Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has warned that the various criminal activities of kidnapping, bombing, and assault on the people in some parts of the country which are being referred to as banditry must be appropriately addressed as terrorism.

He gave the warning on Monday at the 27th Nigerian Economic Summit held in Abuja with the theme: “Securing Our Future: The Fierce Urgency of Now.”

Governor Akeredolu stated that infiltration of the nation’s borders and burning down of railway were activities that must be addressed as terrorism, and the perpetrators treated as same.

READ ALSO: Judges Under Political Pressure To Please Vested Interests, Says Wike

In his introductory remarks, he contended that a nation with failed security and justice systems was already set to fail.

The governor decried the dimension of insecurity in the country recently, saying he has always believed in multi-level policing as the best way of securing the nation.

“In Ondo State, we don’t have terrorism,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde. “Our problem is farmer/herder clashes and kidnap for ransom. We have drug abuse and agitation for self-determination.

“We have always preached the multi-level policing in Ondo State. We believe in layers of security.”

The governor added, “All we had before Amotekun was a police system that had the duty to arrest and was not prepared to make an arrest. Things are changing and have really changed in Ondo State. Today, if you trespass on other people’s land or farm, the Amotekun will go after you and arrest you.

“They pay compensations to the farmers and when they fail, they are in court. It is the only way you can send signals to the people. When you commit a crime and the hands of the law don’t catch up with you, another person will repeat it. I can assure you that when you do not have an effective policing system, there is little or nothing a governor can do. And the criminal trial is taking too long.”

 

‘Grazing With AK-47’

On the recent ban on open grazing, he said nomadic pastoralism was a culture that must be discouraged in the interest of those involved.

Governor Akeredolu insisted that the issue of grazing routes was not a welcome conversation, adding that those were issues of the past that must not be brought back to the fore.

”Speaking for those of us who have put in place anti-open grazing law, we have our reasons and we have no apologies. Grazing routes? Grazing routes to where? It is not going to work.

He said, “There are things we had in the past; don’t let us imagine it now. Time changes. Grazing with AK-47 is an assault. Ban on open grazing, we are doing it effectively in Ondo State.”

“Nomadic pastoralist is not a new thing. There were nomadic farmers all over the world. I know of people, high ranking who have ranches today. They can showcase their cows. Why are we pushing these people out?

“It is a culture that must be discouraged in the interest of those who are involved. Even with the President’s order that anyone with AK-47 should be arrested, how many have been arrested?” the governor queried.

Governor Akeredolu, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, and others were among the panellists at the summit which centred on addressing the security challenges in the country.

There Is A Link Between Igboho And Terrorism Financier, Says FG

 

The Nigerian Government says it has established a connection between Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, and a firm being investigated for terrorism.

Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, stated this at a news briefing in Abuja on Friday.

He disclosed that the government has received the report on financers of Sunday Igboho, saying the findings revealed that Igboho is a director and signatory to a firm – Adesun International Concept Limited – registered on April 23, 2010.

“Investigation reveals that Adesun International Concept Ltd (belonging to Igboho) transferred the sum of N12,750,000 to Abbal Bako & Sons,” the AGF said. “It might be recalled that Abbal Bako & Sons and its promoter, Abdullahi Umar Usman, are suspects in the ongoing joint terrorist financing investigation.

“Abdullahi Umar Usman is by way of financial transaction connected to Surajo Abubakar Muhammad (who was sentenced to life imprisonment in UAE on charges of financing terrorism [Boko Haram]). This report shows the nexus between separatists’ agitation, terrorism financing, and disruptions of peace in the country.”

 

The company, according to Malami, also has Oladele Oyetunji and Aderopo Adeyemo as directors, and is linked to 43 bank accounts in nine banks.

He said the major financier of the Yoruba nation agitator was found to be a lawmaker in the National Assembly, adding that he received a total of N127,145,000 from his financiers between October 22, 2013, and September 28, 2020, through his firm.

The AGF added that transaction outflows to the tune of N273,198,200 were recorded from Igboho’s account between March 15, 2013, and March 11, 2021.

He revealed that the report also found connections of financial transactions between Igboho’s firm and some construction companies and businesses, among others.

“Having received the reports, the Federal Government remains solute in its determination to have a peaceful Nigeria,” said Malami.

“The Federal Government will do the needful, within the context of the legal provisions, in ensuring that the matter is giving the deserved attention and those found guilty will be made to face the wrath of the law.”

Terrorists Who Attempted Coup Against Me Are In Nigeria – Turkey President

Nigeria and Turkey signed eight major agreements on October 20, 2021.
Nigeria and Turkey signed eight major agreements on October 20, 2021.

 

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has said that members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO) that attempted to push him out of power on July 15, 2016 through a failed coup are currently in Nigeria.

Erdogan stated this on Wednesday during a joint press conference with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The Turkish leader is on a two-day working visit to Nigeria, just as he is also touring two other African countries – Togo and Angola.

“Turkey has been fighting against terrorist organisations for many decades, such as the PKK, PYD, FETO, DASH and other terrorist organisations,” President Erdogan said through an interpreter.

“The perpetrator of the heinous failed coup of July the 15th, FETO, is still illegally active in Nigeria, and we are continuously sharing our intelligence with the Nigerian interlocutors and authorities.

“I hope and pray that our Nigerian brothers will forge a closer solidarity in this field with us, the Republic of Turkey.”

READ ALSO: Nigeria And Turkey Sign Eight Major Agreements On Energy, Defense, Others

He equally sought the collaboration of the Nigerian government to overcome extremism and terrorism that has become a global phenomenon.

The Turkish president also commended President Buhari for hosting him and his delegation.

He added, “The most auspicious results and I would like to thank my distinguished brother, President Buhari, for being such a gracious host for me and for my delegation.”

Erdogan arrived in Nigeria on Tuesday night and was welcomed by the Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffery Onyeama; FCT Minister, Muhammad Musa Bello, the Nigerian Ambassador to Turkey, Ismail Yusuf Abba, and the Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Hidayet Bayraktar, at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

Turkish officials that accompanied Erdogan were the First Lady Emine Erdogan; Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu; Energy and Natural Resources, Minister Fatih Donmez; Defense Minister, Hulusi Akar; Trade Minister, Mehmet Mus among others.

FG Files Amended Terrorism Charge Against Nnamdi Kanu

A file photo of Nnamdi Kanu.

 

The Federal Government has filed an amended seven-count against the detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

The amended charge which was filed by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice on Monday, borders on treasonable felony and the alleged involvement of Kanu in acts of terrorism.

Meanwhile, the lawmaker representing Anambra North senatorial district in the National Assembly, Senator Ifeanyi Uba, has filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

In the motion of notice dated October 15, the lawmaker is seeking an order to be allowed to visit Kanu who is in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

He prayed for an order granting him leave to visit the detained IPOB leader, as part of his legislative oversight function and to ascertain his alleged involvement in the unrest in the South East as being alleged.

In an affidavit personally deposed to by Senator Uba, the lawmaker stated that there has been serious agitation aimed at pressing home his release and this has degenerated into a proclamation of sit-at-home orders in the region, a situation which he said was crippling the economy of the South East.

At the DSS detention facility, he was refused access to the defendant and directed to approach the court to obtain permission before he could be allowed to see Kanu.

Kanu was first arrested in 2015 on charges bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter, illegal possession of firearms, and improper importation of goods, among others.

He was initially detained and arraigned in court, but he fled the country in 2017 after he was granted bail for medical reasons.

The embattled IPOB leader was later sighted in Israel, but he was intercepted on June 27 and repatriated to Nigeria to face the charges for which he was arrested – about four years since he jumped bail.

His repatriation followed an operation conducted by Nigerian security operatives in collaboration with international partners.

On July 26, Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja adjourned the trial of Kanu until October 21 after the DSS failed to produce him in court.

She faulted the action of the security outfit and asked the prosecution to be diligent with dates whenever she gives one, stressing that it was important for Kanu to be present at his trial.

The judge had also made an order for regimented access to the defendant but declined the proposal of Kanu’s counsel that he should be transferred to a correctional centre.

U.S. To Collaborate With Nigeria To Fight Terrorism

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, and U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor, Jon Finer, brief reporters at the end of the meeting held in Abuja on October 18, 2021.

 

The United States Government is not only fighting terrorism within its territory but also extending a helping hand to Nigeria in a new move to address global terrorism.

As part of measures to tackle the menace, the US Deputy National Security Advisor, Jon Finer, met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, on Monday in Abuja where modalities for collaboration between both countries were discussed.

Although there are plans for other areas of collaboration, tackling terrorism is a common priority for both countries.

According to the US official, the Joe Biden administration underscores the importance of mutual collaboration in areas of climate change, COVID-19, as well as tackling insurgency in the country.

“It is important and consequential for close relationship for the United States and I want to start by underscoring that,” said Finer.

“It is at the centre of so many of us, strategic priorities from getting our arms around the global pandemic to climate change to democracy agenda.”

On his part, Onyeama said the Nigerian government had a fruitful engagement – that bordered on cooperation on the coronavirus disease – with the United States.

READ ALSO: Court Orders Immigration To Release Peter Odili’s Passport

He praised the US for providing over 3.5 million Pfizer vaccines delivered to complement the Nigerian government’s response in tackling the pandemic.

A file photo of three armed men.

 

Nigeria has been battling terrorism for more than a decade now, with Boko Hara and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) emerging as the dominant forces in the conflict.

Since May when Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau killed himself to avoid capture by jihadist rivals, ISWAP has been consolidating in areas it controls in the North East.

The group split from Boko Haram in 2016 and rose to become the dominant jihadist group, focusing on attacking military bases and ambushing troops.

Thousands have been killed and millions displaced in the region as a result of the conflict which began in 2009, and the violence has spread over the borders to Niger, Chad, and Cameroon.