The reintegration enigma: interventions for Boko Haram deserters in the Lake Chad Basin

Why are former members leaving the group, and how does this affect reintegration into communities?

In the Lake Chad Basin area, waves of Boko Haram members have deserted the violent extremist group since August 2016. Those who voluntarily leave the group are often referred to as deserters, returnees or repenters. While these three categories are not mutually exclusive, creating clear distinctions between them presents a conceptual challenge with potential policy implications for the region.

About the author

Fonteh Akum is a senior researcher in the ISS’s Peace and Security Research Programme. He has worked with the US Department of Defense and the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa. Fonteh has a PhD in politics and international studies from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.

Picture: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

Development partners
This report is funded by the Government of the Netherlands. The ISS is also grateful for support from the members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the European Union and the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the USA.
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