THE Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), a splinter of Boko Haram, is growing in power and influence, the International Crisis Group says in a new report. By filling gaps in governance and service delivery, it has cultivated a level of support among local civilians that Boko Haram never enjoyed and has turned neglected communities in the area and islands in Lake Chad into a source of economic support.
It points out that Nigeria and its neighbours not only need to win militarily which Nigeria is so far largely failing to do but also politically. ISWAP digs wells, provides some basic healthcare, has a judicial system in place and a tax regime thats generally accepted creating an environment where people can do business and compare its governance favourably to that of the Nigerian state.
Also worth adding is a religious dimension of support from people committed to ISWAPs ideological message. All in all, displacing ISWAP will not be easy.
–The New Humanitarian (formerly IRIN News)