Bring Back Our Girls campaigners
Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) campaigners raise up candles during a candle light gathering marking the 500th day since the abduction of girls in Chibok, along a road in Abuja August 27, 2015. The Islamist militant group Boko Haram kidnapped some 270 girls and women from a school in Chibok a year ago. More than 50 eventually escaped, but at least 200 remain in captivity, along with scores of other girls kidnapped before the Chibok girls. Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde

Around 1.4 million children have been displaced due to Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria and neighbouring countries, according to UNICEF. Around 500,000 have been displaced in the last five months.

The militant organisation seeks to establish an Islamist rule in the north-eastern part of Nigeria. The insurgence in the last six years has displaced 2.1 million people consisting mostly children.

“In northern Nigeria alone, nearly 1.2 million children -- over half of them under 5 years old -- have been forced to flee their homes,” the UNICEF statement read. According to the statement, an additional 265,000 children have been displaced in Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

The extremist group’s claim to recognition was in April 2014 when it kidnapped over 200 schoolgirls. It has expanded its base in northern Nigeria ever since. Its leader, Abubakar Shekau, pledged allegiance to Islamic State in March.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced a new counter-terrorism strategy in May 2014. According to officials from Europe, Africa and the United States, while there has been progress against Boko Haram, the process is likely to slow down.

"For the region, this is going to be a struggle that's going to be with them for a long time, not just in Niger, but elsewhere," Reuters quoted Army Col. Bob Wilson, commander of U.S. Special Operations Forces in north and west Africa.

In African countries, U.S. authorities have been carrying out a low-risk strategy against extremists. The idea is to fight Boko Haram extremists with local partners rather than to send combat troops.

Niger is going to face local and national elections in 2016. According to U.S. officials, the relatively stable country is worth helping. The U.S. strategy against African terrorists is quite different from its policy against Middle Eastern extremists.

Contact the writer at, or let us know what you think below.