Abuja, Nigeria – As Nigeria prepares for general elections in February, a series of attacks by Boko Haram has focused attention on the security situation in the country.
The armed group appears to have regained ground in the country’s northeast in 2018, pushing into towns and villages it had previously lost to the Nigerian military.
With an escalation of attacks in recent months, the Nigerian government’s claims of victory against Boko Haram appear premature.
The nine-year conflict with Boko Haram, that has killed more than 20,000 people and displaced two million others from their homes in Nigeria, has also spread to neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon.
As Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari embarks on a re-election bid, he has called for urgent measures to curtail the resurgence of Boko Haram attacks.
At an emergency meeting of leaders from the Lake Chad region on Thursday in Chad’s capital, N’Djamena, Buhari urged them to not “cave in” to the attacks.
“The group’s renewed strategy of increasingly mining the area as well as its recent deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles for surveillance have proved to be critical factors in the resurgence of attacks in the region,” Buhari said.
“These activities are aimed at weakening our collective resolve to eradicate them from the region,” he said.
Nigerian troops have come under repeated attacks in recent months, resulting in multiple fatalities and the theft of their military equipment.
In one such attack, a Boko Haram faction attacked a military base on 18 November in the village of Metele in Borno state, northeast Nigeria.
Military authorities said 23 soldiers were killed and 31 others wounded. Military sources, who did not want to be identified, told Al Jazeera that about 100 soldiers were killed in the attack.