Responding to Boko Haram: Why the African Union must Lead the Fight against the Insurgency

Authors Swikani Ncube

ISSN: 2521-2583
Affiliations: LLD Candidate, South African Research Chair in International Law, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Source: South African Yearbook of International Law, 2014, p. 209 – 226


This contribution argues that the decision to authorise the establishment of the Multinational Joint Task force (MNJTF) could not have come at a better time. Furthermore, it argues that the mandate of the MNJTF is comprehensive enough to bring stability to the Lake Chad region and is evidence of the African Union’s (AU) commitment to fighting terrorism and extremism on the continent. The first part of the paper gives a contextual background to the ‘Boko Haram’ insurgency while the second part outlines the Nigerian government and the international community’s response to the insurgency. The third section discusses the mandate of the MNJTF and further outlines reasons why the establishment of the Force is a timely intervention by the AU. This is followed by concluding remarks. The paper does not attempt to define terrorism as there are numerous definitions of the phenomenon; however, it proceeds from the premise that the activities of Boko Haram constitute terrorism.