Geographical Area; Continent | Lake Chad Basin; Africa
Countries within the Geographical Area | Niger, Chad, Nigeria, Cameroon
Bordering Countries Affected | Niger, Chad, Nigeria, Cameroon; Africa
Lake Chad Basin
Summary: Climate change and the conflict and insecurity caused by Boko Haram has resulted in a severe humanitarian crisis across Niger, Chad, Nigeria, and Cameroon. 2.6 million people have been deracinated; 5 million people are living in poverty; and 0.5 million children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
Areas of High Security Concern: Climate change; Violent conflicts; Terrorism; Poverty; Infrastructure
Current Claims: Niger; Chad; Nigeria; Cameroon; Boko Haram
Current Conflicts: Jihadist insurgency
Groups Involved in Conflict: Boko Haram (Islamic State in West Africa Province [ISWAP] and Jamaat Ahlussunnah lid-Dawa wal-Jihad [JAS]), Fulani extremists, Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan (Ansaru), ISIS-Greater Sahara
Major Capital Industries: Oil; Gold; Water; Fodder; Farming; Fishing
Potential Industry Concerns: As of October, 2012, Lake Chad Basin has the capacity to produce 225,000 barrels of oil per day. There is a significant risk to Chad’s Ronier oil field, Chad’s N'Djamena oil refinery, and Lake Chad Basin’s 660 mile-long pipeline. Climate change is reported to be affecting the Lake Chad Basin dramatically. The temperature in the area surrounding the Lake was measured to be rising 1.5 times faster than the global average, resulting in erratic rain patterns, failing harvests, and food insecurity.
Areas of Caution:
Climate change has resulted in diminishing grazing land, access to fresh water, and fish stocks, affecting animals, herders, farmers, and those who depend on them for sources of food and water.
Erratic rainfall has resulted in unpredictable fluctuations in the water level of Lake Chad Basin, including major droughts and major flooding. Historically, Cameroon and Nigeria are the most affected by heavy rainfall and resultant flooding, with at least 220,000 people affected by flooding in November, 2019.
Increase in conflict between population groups and the governments of the countries surrounding Lake Chad Basin, causing a breakdown in cooperation on an inter-community and intra-community level. The conflict between non-state actors and the military has resulted in fractured government structures in the area due to assassinations of high ranking government and military leaders and officials. The increasing conflict, and subsequent mistrust in the government has resulted in a substantial power vacuum and the alienation of the communities worst affected by the conflict.
Mistrust in the traditional government, and increasing livelihood/economic instability as a result of climate change has resulted in an increase in the recruitment of young, male members of various communities to non-state actors and militia groups.
Conflict between Christians and Muslims as a result of food and livelihood insecurity due to erratic rainfall. Additional conflict between Christians and Muslims as some Christians perceive some Muslims to be members of insurgency groups, such as Boko Haram, which are also adding to the insecurity, and causing more conflict.
Yellow shows areas Boko Haram has attacked, Red shows areas under Boko Haram’s control
Who: Boko Haram Fulani extremists, Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan (Ansaru), ISIS-Greater Sahara
What: Terrorist insurgency; Suicide bombings; Military and civilian infiltration
Why: Establish an Islamic State in Nigeria and the countries surrounding Lake Chad Basin. Fighting the Sufi and the Salafi religious movements, traditional leaders, the wider civilian population, and the Nigerian state. A weak economy and lack of funding against terrorist organizations.
When: Imminent regardless of COVID-19. Boko Haram have stated that it will take advantage of the pandemic and the disruption it has caused, despite Nigeria being an area of high infection.
How: These extremists and terrorist organizations will continue attacking the surrounding Lake Chad Basin region, especially those areas with little military presence. Radicalizing and recruiting at a community level near the Lake. Displacing millions of individuals through violence and insurgency. Boko Haram may target attacks on crisis relief and aid such as bombing clinics, warehouses, stockpiles, and killing aid workers.
While it is unlikely that these terrorist groups will focus primarily on major cities, it is imperative to understand that they have in the past and could certainly in the future. Therefore, CTG feels there is a Roughly Even Chance for Boko Haram and the other organizations to attack N'djamena, Niamey, Yaounde, and Lagos. These cities need to continue to adopt and implement various security measures and strengthen their security response and intelligence collection. They should also keep working to train their counterterrorism forces and cooperate with USAFRICOM, the Multinational Joint Task Force (Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria, and Niger) and the G5 Sahel Task Force (Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, and Mauritania).
The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) is committed to Detect, Deter, and Defeat terrorism and will continue to monitor the situation surrounding the Lake Chad Basin area. The CTG recommends that agencies, organizations, and companies (AOCs) in the countries surrounding the Lake should collaborate and share intelligence regarding terrorism and its subsequent threats. AOCs should continue to support the conflict resolution efforts of the governments in the various African states, and should assist in counterterrorism efforts.
The Counterterrorism Group (CTG)
 Lake Chad map, By Andreas 06, licensed under Public Domain
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 Boko Haram in Lake Chad Region, By Zeogludon, licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication
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 Lake Chad Basin: Crisis Overview (as of 23 January 2019), Relief Web, January 23, 2019, https://reliefweb.int/report/nigeria/lake-chad-basin-crisis-overview-23-january-2019#:~:text=The%20Lake%20Chad%20Basin%20humanitarian,of%20civilians%20to%20extreme%20hardship.