Boko Haram Uses Landmines and IEDs to Threaten Nigeria

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Forces from Cambodia, Chad and Nigeria have repeatedly combated Boko Haram’s attempts to terrorize civilians, capture hostages and hinder military advances with landmines and booby traps. Cameroon and Chad deployed about 7,000 soldiers in response to attacks and landmines placed by Boko Haram along Cameroon’s northern border with Nigeria.1 These landmines pose a direct threat to communities and livestock, and prevent military forces from securing the area.2

Boko Haram has kidnapped and killed hundreds of Nigerian men, women and children, forcing at least 1.5 million to flee to nearby cities.3 Although military forces have liberated many communities previously controlled by Boko Haram, improvised explosive devices and landmines placed along the roads prevent refugees from returning home. The abundance of internally displaced persons threatens the availability of food as well as public services in the area such as education, healthcare and sanitation.4 In June 2015, two soldiers and a police officer were killed on Damboa road by a landmine blast roughly 835 kilometers (518.8 miles) from Abuja.5

Nigeria’s army is determined to put an end to the bloodshed. In response to reports that landmines are forcing Nigerian forces to retreat, Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade stated, “It’s not true that our troops are retreating, in fact we are still marching forward in Sambisa. Our troops are still in there.”6 c

~ Christina Carr, CISR Staff



Contact Information

Center for International Stabilization and Recovery
James Madison University
800 S. Main Street - MSC4902
Harrisonburg, VA / USA 22807



  1. Kindzeka, Moki Edwin. “Land Mines Hamper Cameroon, Chad In Fight Against Boko Haram.” 3 March 2015.
  2. Kindzeka, Moki Edwin. “Boko Haram Surrounds Havens With Land Mines.” Voice of America. 24 May 2015.
  3. Anyadike, Obinna.“Beyond Boko Haram: Nigeria’s hidden crisis”” IRIN. 5 June 2015. Accessed 26 June 2015.
  4. “Borno Groans under Burden of IDP Camps.” Daily Times Nigeria. 25 June 2015. Accessed 25 June 2015.
  5. “13 Dead, 30 Injured In Fresh Baga Blast.” Channels Television. 22 June 2015. Accessed 25 June 2015.
  6. Abdallah, Ardo. “Nigeria military says still in Boko Haram stronghold despite mines.” Reuters. 23 April 2015.