Nigeria is still ranked third among the countries in the world that have been worst hit by terror attacks, according to the 2016 Global Terrorism Index (GTI) report. The GTI monitored and measured the impacts of terrorism in 163 countries, covering 99.7 per cent of the world’s population. Nigeria had occupied the same position in last year’s ranking, and was ranked fourth in 2014. For 2016, Nigeria ranked behind Iraq and Afghanistan. Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and India are ranked fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth respectively, while Egypt and Libya are in the ninth and 10th position, in the latest ranking.
The report, released on Wednesday by the Institute for Economics and Peace, however indicates a 34 per cent decline in the number of people killed by the terrorist group, Boko Haram, in 2015 in Nigeria. The total number of people killed by Boko Haram in 2015 was 4,095, down from the 6,136 in 2014, said the report which attributed the decline to the operation of the Nigerian military and the Joint Task Force in the north-east of the country.
According to the report, Nigeria also had a reduction in the number of people killed by Fulani militants (herdsmen). “There were 630 fewer deaths by these militias in 2015, a decrease of 50 per cent,” the report said. This, according to the report, contributed to the overall 10 per cent drop in the number of deaths caused by terrorism globally. In fact, the report says Iraq and Nigeria had the largest reduction on deaths from terrorism from 2014 to 2015.
The gains made against Boko Haram by the Nigerian military, however became the pains of the country’s neighbours – Niger and Cameroon – as the terrorist group spilled over and created more deaths in the two countries than previously recorded.
“Niger recorded a devastating year with 11 terrorism deaths in 2014 rising to 649 in 2015. This is the largest proportional increase of any country and is due to the expansion of Boko Haram,” the report said. Niger is now 16th in the latest ranking, compared to the 51st position it occupied in last year. The deteriorating terrorism attacks in Cameroon also moved it from 20th position it was in 2015 to 14th in 2016. ISIL, the Islamic militant group in Iraq, has now overtaken Boko Haram as the deadliest terrorist group in 2015, the report said.
The report said, “Despite the decrease in deaths from terrorism, Nigeria still experienced a high rate of violent deaths. “In addition to terrorism victims, there were at least 4,422 battle-related deaths from the conflict between Boko Haram and the Nigerian Government in 2015, down from 8,233 in 2014.”
The report said on the average, Boko Haram killed 11 people per attack in Nigeria, and that the attacks were mainly targeted at civilians.“Four out of five deaths from terrorism in Nigeria are civilians,” it said. “This is one of the highest targeting of civilians anywhere in the world. “Whilst the majority of fatalities were caused by armed assaults with firearms and knives, there has been an increase in the use of bombings and explosions, a tactic Boko Haram has been increasingly using after receiving explosives training from al-Shabaab.
“In 2013, Boko Haram conducted 35 bombings which killed 107 people. In 2015 there were 156 bombings that killed 1,638. Nearly two thirds of the bombings in 2015 were suicide bombings, which on average killed ten people per attack,” the report said.
Out of 20 most fatal terrorist attacks in the world in 2015, according to the report, four occurred on the Nigerian soil, with Boko Haram being responsible for three. Fulani militants were responsible for one – where 95 people were killed in a single attack on March 15, 2015. According to the report, the worst terrorist attack in Nigeria occurred on September 13, 2015 when Boko Haram killed 160 villagers in Kukuwa-Gari village by gunfire or drowning. A total of 174 people were killed in the attack, the report said.
The report put the global economic impact of terrorism at US$89.6 billion in 2015. Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) to developing economies such as Nigeria is directly affected by terrorist attacks, it said.
“Unlike ISIL, Boko Haram does not have a sophisticated financing structure,” says the report. “The primary revenue source for Boko Haram is kidnapping, ransom and extortion.” The group is also said to rely on bank robberies, illegal mining, external donations, and drugs for its income which is said to be up to $25 million, annually. The report put the total number of people killed in Nigeria by Boko Haram at 17,097 since 2000. The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has obviously achieved some successes in its war against terrorism, but the Boko Haram sect hasn’t been defeated yet, as repeatedly claimed by the Nigerian authorities.
The report explains the methodology used in developing the terrorism index. “The GTI ranks 163 countries based on four indicators weighted over five years. “The GTI score for a country in a given year is a based on a unique scoring system to account for the relative impact of incidents in the year.
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