Counter-Terrorism Strategy Against Boko Haram and Human Rights in Nigeria

PhD Thesis

Bello, M. 2021. Counter-Terrorism Strategy Against Boko Haram and Human Rights in Nigeria. PhD Thesis University of East London School of Business and Law
AuthorsBello, M.
TypePhD Thesis

The activities of the Boko Haram insurgent group have drawn significant and tremendous attention and scrutiny, and this is looking increasingly likely to continue unabated, bearing in mind the in-fighting which has broken out inside the umbrella of the insurgent jihadists, and posing convoluted challenges with the death of Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the Boko Haram faction. This thesis is interesting because it is considering the activities of the revolutionary group from the outlook or standpoint of Human Rights, an aspect that appears not to have drawn attention proportional to its significance. Majority of the existing studies on the subject considered the security dimensions, with minority concentrating on the impacts of the insurgency on domestic and regional economy. Without doubt, the savagery and viciousness of the group, were paramount and ostensible in all the studies, however, a very minority of the studies, at least yet, have addressed the subject at an in-depth or profound human rights breadth. In the light of this lacuna in literature, therefore, this thesis addresses a huge gap in literature.

The activities of the Boko Haram insurgents have adversely affected the national security in Nigeria for over a decade. Boko Haram's operations have been ongoing with much sophistication, leading to loss of lives, property, and peaceful coexistence in Nigeria and its neighbouring states, particularly in Chad and Cameroon. International law has responded to the fight against terrorism through the United Nations Charter and a series of international law instruments. International human rights instruments have also been brought to the fore in the fight against the insurgency's continuous rise. The Nigerian government has employed policy strategies and legal frameworks such as the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 and 2013 and numerous countermeasures directed at addressing the insurgency of Boko Haram. Human rights appeared to be implicated in the process, either in the form of failure to protect citizens from Boko Haram operations or violations of human rights in the course of the implementation of measures to check insurgencies.

The thesis addresses the counter terrorism strategy engaged against Boko Haram through the optic of human rights law, as well as international law connected with counterterrorism. Human rights are addressed in a binary form, in the sense that the thesis addresses human rights violations perpetrated by Boko Haram, a designated terrorist organisation, as well as human rights concerns that emanates from the Nigerian government efforts to deal with the organisation. This thesis makes an original contribution to academic studies through applying the law in the specific context of Nigeria.

Through the doctrinal method and policy-oriented approach, the thesis investigated the measures put in place by the government to implement the UN Security Council Resolution 1373 on counterterrorism. Thus, by the doctrine of erga omnes, states are obligated to protect human rights by preventing the spread of insurgency. Therefore, the thesis investigated the rights that are violated in the course of activities of terrorists; and how the government has used the law to address the challenges of the spread of the activities of Boko Haram. It gave an analysis of the extent to which Nigeria's counterterrorism strategies complies with the provisions of the UN Security Council Resolution 1373, international instruments on human rights, and Sections 33-46 of the 1999 Constitution on human rights. Therefore, the thesis proffered proposals on how best the measures addressing terrorism can be made to comply with human rights instruments.

PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
File Access Level
Publication dates
Online02 Dec 2021
Publication process dates
Submitted26 Nov 2021
Deposited02 Dec 2021
Permalink -

Download files

License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
File access level: Anyone

  • 1898
    total views
  • 1281
    total downloads
  • 42
    views this month
  • 61
    downloads this month

Export as