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Almost a decade of security crisis linked to Boko Haram in Cameroon

Près d’une décennie de crise sécuritaire liée à Boko Haram au Cameroun

What are the footprints, the shaping, the challenges and the prospects for the revival of development in the far north region?

Quelles empreintes, quel visage, quels défis et quelles perspectives pour la relance du développement de la région de l’extrême-nord ?

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Published on Wednesday, August 26, 2020 by Anastasia Giardinelli

Summary

This call for contributions is part of the multinational research project “Boko Haram: Islamic Protest, Terrorism and Security in Africa”, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). The aim is to make accessible new knowledge on Boko Haram that relates to historical and political context, religious and ideological underpinnings, economic and social impact. It is hoped that scholarly research will inform public policy in ways that promote political stability and social justice not only in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Tchad but also globally. That justifies this call for contributions and its main orientations.

Announcement

Argument

This call for contributions is part of the multinational research project “Boko Haram: Islamic Protest, Terrorism and Security in Africa” (www.iptsa.org), funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)[1]. The aim is to make accessible new knowledge on Boko Haram that relates to historical and political context, religious and ideological underpinnings, economic and social impact. It is hoped that scholarly research will inform public policy in ways that promote political stability and social justice not only in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Tchad but also globally. That justifies this call for contributions and its main orientations.

In 2013, Cameroon and its Far North Region entered the list of areas hit by the jihadist violence of the Boko Haram terrorist movement. Located in Nigeria since its birth in the early 2000s, the sect had extended its operational scope to the countries of the Lake Chad basin. On 19th February that year, a French family on a stay in Waza, a tourist area at few kilometres from the Cameroon-Nigeria border was abducted. Nine months later, on 13th November of the same year, Father Vandenbeusch, a French Catholic priest, was also kidnapped at night in the Cameroonian town of Koza, not far from the border with Nigeria. These two abductions of foreign nationals had been claimed by Boko Haram. Since then, the sect's assaults on Cameroonian territory have multiplied, creating a major security concern in the country's history. Cameroon and its Far North Region became important points in the counter-terrorism offensive launched in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks. By outsourcing from its Nigerian birthplace, Boko Haram has connected the Lake Chad basin to the global dynamics of the fight against terror. The resulting consequences were of various dimensions. The Boko Haram threat has given rise to various dynamics (large-scale military and humanitarian deployments, massive displacement of populations to safe areas, revision of the state budget and its reorientation for war needs, to name a few).

A marginal jihadist movement at the beginning of 2000, Boko Haram has become a subject that is widely discussed in scientific circles, giving rise to a number of meetings and research works to question it (Kongou: 2014; 2016; Saibou Issa, 2018; Seidi Abba, Mohamadou Lawaly Dan Dano, 2019; Pout, 2019). This dynamic was mostly conducted by Western scientific circles, which distinguished themselves by the production of an abundant literature on the subject (Seignobos, 2014; 2015; Lovejoy, 2016; Magrin et al., 2018; Scott, 2018). These external views and their limits on an endogenous security crisis resolved us to initiate an alternative publication project whose aim is to provide a reading from within of the emerging security crisis. It focused on the dynamics derived from the Boko Haram crisis in Cameroon. The enthusiasm and concern of researchers from various disciplines and sectors of activity had formerly led to the publication of two books edited respectively by the Peter Lang publishing house (Wassouni and Gwoda, 2017) and Les Éditions du Schabel, Cameroon (Gwoda and Wassouni, 2017).

These two publications are, along with others, references in terms of scientific publications on Boko Haram. Since their publication in 2017 many of the realities described have changed, many changes have taken place in the field of this humanitarian crisis[2]. The combined actions of the Cameroonian State and its affected neighbours and those of bilateral and multilateral partners have made it possible to "curb" the situation to some extend, even if sporadic incursions by the sect have not completely ceased. In any case, it is possible to hypothesize that the situation is relatively under control, given the calm observed in several previously severely affected areas. In this context, an optimistic discourse is emerging that now revolves around stabilization and reconstruction actions. Several projects implemented by Cameroon and its partners are taking place in the field.

At a time of stabilization[3] which, we hope, announce the end of the war and the beginning of reconstruction with the resumption of development actions, it is appropriate to take stock of this decade of widespread disruption in a region which, before this crisis, was vulnerable in more than one respect. Poverty indicators were an all-time alarming. Boko Haram's activism will have contributed to its further entrenchment, leaving after-effects that will influence its evolution for a long time. "The Far North has always been one of the poorest regions of the country, but until recently, the cross-border livestock trade was dynamic and the tourism sector booming. This was before the conflict led to the closure of the Nigerian border, halved the price of livestock, drove tourists away and severely affected agricultural productivity by displacing a large part of the population" (https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org).

Three years after the publication of the above-mentioned works, this new project seeks to provoke plural, multidisciplinary and multisectoral reflections on the footprints left by the Boko Haram crisis on the Far North region, which have given it a new face, with destruction and multi-sectoral disturbances that are seriously mortgaging its development. Around these are innumerable challenges that are likely to feed retrospective and prospective analyses with a view to develop a relevant multi-sectoral roadmap for projecting into the future. So, on the basis of analyses of the footprints left by the Boko Haram humanitarian crisis, what is the situation of this region today, compared to previous years? What are the acute challenges in this region and what are the prospects for providing the State and development partners with the relevant decision-making tools to relaunch sustainable development in this region? This is the questioning that should guide the various proposals around this publication project, which is more oriented towards action research.

Without being exhaustive, proposals from interested persons from the academic and research world, civil society, administrations and other areas of expertise may be directed towards the following areas:

- The economy

- Culture

- Education

- Politics

- Health

- Religion

- Humanitarian

- Infrastructure

- Intercommunity relations;

- Governance

- Security

- Environment

- Society

- Cross-border relations

- Stabilisation

- Reconstruction

- Trauma

- The humanitarian

- Public policy;

- International cooperation

- Sub-regional cooperation.

Scientific Coordination

1- François WASSOUNI, Ph.D., Université de Maroua ;

2- Ahmadou SEHOU, Ph.D., Université de Maroua.

Calendar

Abstract proposals of no more than 500 words, accompanied by a short biography of the authors, should be sent

by September 30, 2020

to the following addresses:

  • wassounifrancois@gmail.com
  • asehou@gmail.com

Authors will be notified by 31st October 2020 at the latest as to whether or not their proposals have been accepted. Successful contributors will be required to submit full papers by December 31st, 2020. The publication of the collective work is scheduled for June 2021.

Bibliography

African Union Commission/Lake Chad Basin Commission, Regional Strategy for the Stabilization, Recovery and Resilience of the Lake Chad Basin Areas Affected by the Boko Haram Crisis, publication supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, August 2018 ;

Gwoda A.A. et Wassouni F., (dir.), Regards croisés sur le phénomène Boko Haram, Yaoundé, Editions du Schabel, 2017.

https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/fr/analyses/2017/09/06/le-retard-du-nord-du-cameroun-en-fait-un-terreau-fertile-pour-boko-haram,  accessed 21 July 2020.

Kongou L, Boko Haram. Parti pour durer, Paris L’Harmattan, 2016 .

Kongou L.,Boko Haram, Le Cameroun à l’épreuve des menaces, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2014 ;

Lovejoy P., "Jihad in West Africa in the Age of Revolution", Afrique Contemporaine, N° 260, Paris, De Boeck Supérieur, 2016/4, pp.116-118 .

Magrin G. (ed.), Pérouse de Montclos Marc-Antoine (éd.), Seignobos Christian (ill.), Gluski Pauline (cartogr.), 2018, Crise et développement : la région du lac Tchad à l'épreuve       de Boko Haram, Paris : AFD.

Melchisedek Chétima (2020), Comprendre Boko Haram à partir d’une perspective historique, locale et régionale, Canadian Journal of African Studies / Revue canadienne des études africaines, DOI: 10.1080/00083968.2019.1700814

Pout Ch. et al., Boko Haram au Cameroun, quelles nouvelles dynamiques ?, Editions du Cygne, 2019 .

Saibou Issa (dir.), Attaques et attentats de Boko Haram dans l’Extrême-Nord du Cameroun, Numéro spécial de Kaliao, revue pluridisciplinaire de l’Ecole Normale Supérieure de          Maroua (Cameroun), Paris, L’Harmattan, 2018 .

Scott MacEachern, Searching for Boko Harm. A history of Violence in Central Africa,Oxford   University Press, 2018.

Seidik Abba, Mohamadou Lawaly Dan Dano, Voyage au cœur de Boko Haram. Enquête sur l  e Jidad en Afrique subsaharienne, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2019 .

Seignobos C., « Boko Haram et le Lac Tchad. Extension ou sanctuarisation », Afrique    Contemporaine, N° 255, Paris, De Boeck Supérieur, 2015/3, pp.93-120.

Seignobos C., « Boko Haram : innovations guerrières depuis les Monts Mandara. Cosaquerie motorisée et islamisation forcée », Afrique Contemporaine, N° 252, Paris, De Boeck Supérieur, 2014/4, pp.149-169.

Wassouni F. et Gwoda A.A, (dir.), Les dynamiques du phénomène Boko Haram au Cameroun, Editions Peter Lang, Berne, 2017.

Notes

[1] The scientific editors of this call for contributions are full members of the project IPTSA/CRSH (www.iptsa.org).

[2] See in that perspective the special issue edited by Melchisedek Chétima (2020), Comprendre Boko Haram à partir d’une perspective historique, locale et régionale, Canadian Journal of African Studies / Revue canadienne des études africaines, DOI: 10.1080/00083968.2019.1700814

[3] Many international organizations active in the humanitarian field since the outbreak of the crisis are now working on stabilization. On 30 August 2018, the strategy for stabilizing the areas of Lake Chad affected by the Boko Haram security crisis was adopted in Abuja, Nigeria, and can be consulted at: https://www.peaceau.org/uploads/strategie-regionale-de-stabilisation-de-redressement-et-de-resilience.pdf.

Subjects

Places

  • Maroua, Cameroon

Date(s)

  • Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Keywords

  • Boko Haram, djihadisme, terrorisme, violence, migration, Nigeria, Cameroun, Niger, Tchad,

Contact(s)

  • François Wassouni
    courriel : wassounifrancois [at] gmail [dot] com

Information source

  • François Wassouni
    courriel : wassounifrancois [at] gmail [dot] com

To cite this announcement

« Almost a decade of security crisis linked to Boko Haram in Cameroon », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, August 26, 2020, https://calenda.org/795956

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