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Nigeria’s ‘bandits’ are not ‘unknown gunmen’: why the label matters

Nigeria’s ‘bandits’ are not ‘unknown gunmen’: why the label matters

SINCE 2015, parts of northern Nigeria have witnessed a steady increase in insecurity and violent attacks. Civilians and government security forces have been the victims. Numerous data tracking sources have shown an escalation of incidents since January 2021. But there appears to be a difference between perpetrators’ actions and the way they are labelled. Government calls them ‘bandits’ and ‘unknown gunmen’. Others have insisted that a more appropriate description would be ‘terrorists’. Adejuwon Soyinka, West Africa regional editor at The Conversation Africa, asks Sallek Yaks Musa, a security and civil-military relations expert, to explain what might underlie the terminology used…
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