The relentless spread of terrorism and extremism appears to continue unabated going into 2016 with recent reports of terror attacks by militant groups Boko Haram and Al Shabaab.

There are reports of fresh terror attacks in Nigeria and authorities have warned citizens that the militant group is plotting a new terrorist tactic. The army has urged people to be vigilant.

The Nigerian Army has warned residents of Borno State that Boko Haram terrorists are planning to use “beggars and other strategies,” Daily Nation reports.

A statement by Colonel Mustapha Anka quoted by news agency Xinhua warned the public that Boko Haram planned to place “concealed explosives in bundles of firewood… in crowded and strategic areas of Maiduguri and environs to cause havoc”.

Baga town following a clash in 2013 between Nigerian soldiers and the Boko Haram militants Source: Stringer/AFP

Baga town following a clash in 2013 between Nigerian soldiers and the Boko Haram militants Source: Stringer/AFP

Despite the efforts by Nigeria’s military, the persistent attacks by Boko Haram continue to expose the daunting challenge the army is grappling with to defeat the militant group.

Last year, Nigerian President Muhammdu Buhari vowed that Boko Haram would be defeated by the end of 2015, but that promise has not been kept. Instead, the group has scaled up its terror tactics has continued to mount incessant attacks.

Similarly, Al Shabaab has also continued its terror attacks. On Saturday, a suicide bomber reportedly blew himself up in a restaurant in central Mogadishu and killed at least four people. The attacks highlight the precarious security and safety situation, which needs to be urgently addressed.

While authorities in Nigeria continue to give assurances that the group will be defeated, analysts point to the failure by Nigeria and its neighbours “to formulate a regionally coordinated response to the insurgency”.

The grim reality on the ground is that terrorism and extremism appears to be on the rise going into 2016 despite the significant gains in the fight against Boko Haram.

Source: Daily Nation