Nigeria to Bolster Relief Operations in Northeastern Areas

The Nigerian army’s recent advances against Boko Haram mean the government can increase its relief efforts in the northeast, according to the country’s disaster management agency.

There will be a “massive operation to bolster previous interventions in the insurgency-affected states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe,” Mohammed Kanar, the National Emergency Management Agency’s coordinator for the northeast, said in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno, on Saturday at a refugee camp.

The government of President Goodluck Jonathan, who’s running for re-election on March 28, claims recent attacks by its forces and those of neighboring Chad and Niger are degrading the capabilities of Islamist militants. Nigeria delayed the election by six weeks after security forces said they needed more time to ensure the northeast was safe enough for people to vote.

Boko Haram began its armed campaign in 2009 and wants to create a caliphate. The group killed at least 1,600 people in January and more than 4,700 in 2014, double the number in 2013, according to Bath, U.K.-based risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft.

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