- Jihadists will look to exploit government focus on COVID-19 in coming months by increasing tempo of attacks in northeast
- Boko Haram will seek to launch attacks on ‘soft’ targets such as social or religious gatherings as lockdown measures in Borno state are eased
- Significant budgetary pressures amid COVID-19 outbreak and low oil prices will limit government ability to allocate additional resources to contain insurgency
Boko Haram militants reportedly killed 20 civilians in the village of Gajiganna, 50 km from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, on 17 May. The attack came three days after Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) claimed an attack on a military checkpoint near the same village, killing 17 soldiers and stealing several vehicles. Military sources later acknowledged the attack, but said that only five troops were killed. Separately, Borno state authorities announced on 13 May the suspension of a state-wide lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), although said they would be willing to reimpose restrictions if infection rates escalated again. The neighbouring states of Gombe, Adamawa and Zamfara said meanwhile that they would reopen mosques and churches.
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