Boko Haram & Northeast Nigeria
The war between Boko Haram and the Nigerian state has displaced more than a million people regionally, claimed more than 30,000 lives, and the militant Islamic jihadi group has indiscriminately abducted children and adults, raped and killed, burned entire villages. At their height in 2014, they declared a caliphate and aligned themselves with ISIS. While the Nigerian military has made inroads, this conflict is far from over – especially with a recent ethically questionable ransom of more than $3 million paid by the state to free a group of school girls who were kidnapped a few years ago. This is the story of a high stakes geopolitical conflict in the African and the global battle against Islamic fundamentalism, one that is mismatched with the meager rewards of brown and yellow scorched, arid earth. This can’t even be described as poverty – this is life at the edge of subsistence.
Thanks to the New York Times Magazine with support from the Pultizer Center for the chance to work on this cover story and additional piece about my work with the Nigerian military, as well as to the Wall Street Journal for the chance to cover the secret negotiations to free the mass abducted school girls.