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