Nigeria's 2015 Elections and the Boko Haram Crisis [March 8, 2015]   [open pdf - 403KB]

From the report summary: "In early February, the Nigerian government controversially delayed its scheduled elections by six weeks, to March 28, based on security concerns, drawing criticism from the political opposition and the Obama Administration, among others. The delay has heightened concerns about tensions around the polls and raised questions about alleged political interference in the electoral process. Two weeks prior to the delay, in late January, Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Nigeria to stress U.S. views about the importance of the elections, and to extend condolences to the families of victims of recent attacks by the violent extremist group Boko Haram. Kerry reiterated a U.S. commitment to support counterterrorism efforts in Nigeria, a topic of particular congressional interest in the past year. His visit highlighted the extent of U.S. concern with current political and security challenges facing Nigeria, which is Africa's most populous country and largest economy, and which routinely ranks among the top African recipients of U.S. bilateral foreign aid. [...] Boko Haram raids and bombings in early 2015 have claimed hundreds of lives. Boko Haram's actions have attracted increasing attention from Members of Congress, and the 2014 abductions and other attacks have spurred calls for new efforts to counter the group in various hearings, statements, and legislation, including H.Res. 46, H.Res. 53, and S.Res. 65 in the 114th Congress. The group's March 7 pledge of allegiance to the Islamic State is likely to elicit concern. The Obama Administration seeks to support a regional strategy to counter Boko Haram, amid apparent strains in the bilateral relationship over Nigeria's counterterrorism approach and its effectiveness."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R43881
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