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ICC Note:

Boko Haram, a radical Islamic insurgency, is getting closer to its goal of establishing a separate Islamic state to be ruled by Sharia law in Nigeria’s increasingly lawless northeast. Strategically encircling the capital of Nigeria’s Borno State, Maiduguri, Boko haram has captured village after village, slaughter Christians and other civilians, burning churches to the ground, forcing women into domestic slavery and boys and men to fight.

08/20/2014 Nigeria (VOA) – The Boko Haram insurgency continues to expand in size and tactics, kidnapping villagers and forcing them to fight.

But what may appear to be mayhem in northeastern Nigeria, is actually a strategy to wrest territory from the Nigerian government by isolating the northern seat of power.

In Borno and Adamawa states, two of the three Nigerian states that have been under emergency rule for more than a year, locals report that Boko Haram has taken over villages and towns, killing anyone who objects.

Analysts say the group’s aim appears to be to create a circle of power around the Borno State government in the city of Maiduguri, with the goal of taking the state capital.

Nigeria previously said it has not, and will not, allow Boko Haram to rule any parts of Nigeria.

“The Nigerian military will not concede any portion of this country to terrorists or any such group,” said Major General Chris Olukolade, a defense spokesman.

However, a Boko Haram “takeover” may not be what it sounds like. If villagers are terrified into pledging loyalty to Boko Haram, the group can essentially control the area without hanging flags or building walls.

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